Zimbabwe: Netsayi revives traditional music at HIFA

By Alan Rushesha – Fast rising afro-jazz sensation Netsayi Chigwendere left fans craving for more of her traditional music fused with marimba and drums at the just ended Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA).

Netsayi Chigwendere in concert

Netsayi Chigwendere in concert

All marimba lovers who had been crying fowl over the demise of the genre had something to smile about as the young lady took them aback with love songs such as ‘George’ and the result was a breathtaking performance that will definitely catapult the band into great heights.

Netsayi’s band had the crowd applauding as they remixed songs such as ‘magobo’- a song originally performed by Thomas Mapfumo which came out as a stunning success.

She also belted a song based on Zimbabwean living in Diaspora who then ditched not to belong to her motherland country and later befriended with white friends. The song was a comedy in nature and it sends the crowd in fits of laughter.

The female lead singer’s vocal was uncontested as ‘pidigori waenda’; a song originally done by Thomas Mapfumo was remixed, much to the delight of the crowd.

She also performed songs such as ‘Hondo’ (a song about war and its effects on people. The band sings traditional contemporary music and Afro-Jazz and is led by a female guitarist on the vocals.

Born in Camden, London to Zimbabwean parents who were in exile, Netsayi went to Zimbabwe when she was seven and did not return to London until she was twenty. She was educated in Africa and in England and has worked professionally in film and television.

She said environment was responsible for shaping and inspiring her music.

 “From life, from friends and family, people I know and their stories… From the desire to solve or work out that drives me and other people to do what we do,” she said.