Victor Matanga, the leader of Mashozhera Mbira Group, began playing the mbira at the age of 11, and quickly became one of the most sought after players in the Chihota/Nyandoro area. This recording is a fine example of his exciting solo mbira style. It is also full of high energy call and response singing. This group highlights how mbira is dance music! The group now all live at a commercial farm outside of Harare and are usually playing ceremonies during the weekend.
(2001, Length 48:50, Notes: 4pp.)
As labors on a commercial farm, Mashozhera Mbira Group finds themselves at the bottom of the economic ladder in Zimbabwe. Farm laborers in every country often find themselves exploited and worked for very long hours. Well, they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and that is easily heard in the music of Mashozhera. Their music is always played at the highest energy level as if it is the most important thing they could be doing.
The third song on this CD, "Matikwele", is very interesting. Farmworkers in Zimbabwe often find themselves working side by side with immigrants from other countries, including Zambia, Mozambique, and especially Malawi. Matikwele is based on a traditional Malawian song that Sekuru Victor heard at a ceremony. He then wrote an mbira song to go with the melody and asked Malaweans how to say his intended message in their mother tongue. It therefore has a mix of ChiShona and ChiChewa lyrics. The song sings about a person getting possessed by a spirit and walking to the top of a mountain.Along the way are many thornbushes, but the possessed person simply walks over the thorns, not feeling any pain.
This CD contains complete line by line translations from Shona to English, except in "Matikwele" which has a detailed song description.