Published: 12 November 2014 | by Butholezwe Thokozani Mpofu
The immaculate lmbube Experts Amabhubesi Amnyama were formed in the early 1990s, under the guidance of the late Lameck Moyo from Mzola in Kezi. When Moyo passed on, the group had no hope and some founding members left and some also passed away. ''As someone who had worked and learnt a lot from Moyo, l felt that there was a need to continue with the musical journey'' says Thabani Patrick Sibanda who worked with Moyo as an alto vocalists.
''l remember l would see Lameck in my dreams crying and as an African man l knew he was advising me to carry on with his legacy, so in 2010 we met in Emgodini panel beaters in Hilbrow and rebranded the band and never looked back.'' adds Gertmore Moyo.
''We call ourselves Amabhubesi, which is Nguni for lion because as we all know the history of the bush tells us that the lion is the king, we aim to be the best and l am confident we are on the right track as our presence in all the gigs we perform at leaves fans still crying for some more.'' says UMntakaMaDlamini who hails from Kezi as well.
The group says they grew up listening to traditional music and fell in love with imbube/iscathamiya after listening to the award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo. ''We easily express ourselves through imbube, convey messages to the world easily as people will listen to our words we make an effort to choose wisely when writing songs unlike in other genres that guitars and keyboards will disturb the flow of the intended message.'' says Sibanda who comes from Matopo.
The group has had lots of fortunes having shared the stage with Platform One, playing in the historical launch of Abalobi Bakithi's book lzigigaba zakwandonga ziyaduma and having their intro CD Uvalo being played in uMhlobo wenene FM and other SA community radio stations.The new album is called Emandulo, it is a sixteen track vibrant album with lots of songs that will keep all the people on their toes, it has great songs with great messages. The title track Emandulo, here we are cautioning the nation of these times we are living in, we plead with whoever will listen to go back to their traditions as we cry foul of the happenings we see today that were never experienced in the past. There is also a song we did after the passing away of uTata uMandela, we join the world in mourning his passing on in a song entiltled Uze ungilinde.
Another song worth mentioning is Entabeni, a gospel hit where we encourage our people to pray and trust in Jesus Christ's name as the bible puts it in black and white.''There are lots of songs one will find comforting in our album.'' says Nkosana Ncube.
The group has faced lots of challenges, as we are a growing group we do not have any sponsors so some of the members left as they had no salary or money from the group, we also have struggled to get played in radio stations, also promoters will always go for established groups and not giving smaller groups a chance to show the world their talents. Nothetheless, we have managed to overcome quite a number of the difficulties because music is our passion, we are not into music to make quick money, we do love music and music heals a broken heart and uplifts a down spirit. ''Above all Amabhubesi is one happy big family, we share everything good or bad, we are family, we are more of siblings than people who met to pursue a career in music and we have a very understanding manager in Tokzen'' adds Mthulisi.
Imbube is a form of traditional music that was sung decades ago, it is important that we uphold our culture and traditions and that can be easily achieved through music, we teach about the uMthwakazi way of life and culture in our music. Our music has lots of messages as highlighted above. It is very difficult to say which one is our favourite song in the album as we put so much efforts in creating and composing all the songs, they are like a man's sons, there is no way one can be a favourite.
Amabhubesi members are Thabani Patrick Sibanda, lead singer, composer and song writer, Butholezwe Thokozani Mpofu promotions, marketing and communications manager , Nkosana Ncube on bass, Gertmore Siyabonga Moyo on bass, Mthulisi Moyo on alto, Mbonisi Mbila Mhlanga on bass, Melusi Tshuma on turner, Dumani Ndlovu on bass and Obadiah Obie Madida on turner.
All those who need our CD and bookings, they can get intouch with us on our facebook page Amabhubesi Amnyama. Also on facebook look for Butholezwe Tokzen umntakaMadlamini Mpofu and Thabani Sibanda or phone Tokzen 0717187936.