Madzinza Embira vows to make big impact

Nyasha Kada

NEW mbira outfit, Madzinza Embira, has vowed to make a big impact and give it the status it had in the past.

The 10-piece ensemble, which originates from Mhondoro, has been holding various shows in Harare, especially their popular Thursday slot at Eland Nyashanu Spots Bar, at Braeside Shopping Centre. Former Kinnah and Soul Jah Love manager,  Daniel “Danman” Machakanja, is running the group’s affairs.“The group is still young and has many dreams, with the biggest one being to revive mbira in the country again.We cannot do it alone but we can play a role to see mbira getting dominance again and it starts with us as a group on how we showcase and present our art. The group is on a gradual rise and we have been getting good support since our inception. Our goal is to keep on rising and putting on good performances and music, which is what the group is mostly popular for.

We also intend to bridge the gap where mbira is regarded as a genre for cultural people only. It’s music just like any genre and so we intend to even take it uptown because there are some people who enjoy it there,” he said. The group is led by Munetsi Mapinyi, who is the lead vocalist and, plays lead mbira, known as Nheketo. Co-leader Takudzwa Masakwa plays Hweva mbira and backing vocals.

“Our group is made up of relatives hence the name ‘Madzinza Empire’.

“In our group, we are all related and we all come from Mhondoro.Our tribe is known for playing mbira music in Mhondoro and so most of us were taught the art of playing and making mbira when we were growing up.

It’s a great advantage for us to work as an extended family because we all know each other and have the same roots. “It helps us connect better and make good music with meaning, feeling and healing, which is what mbira music is all about,” said Masakwa.

The group has so far recorded two songs with Tryson Chimbetu, namely Zimbabwe Ndeye Ropa and Zviri Nani Ndiende Kure. The group is putting the final touches on its debut album, titled Mwedzi Muchena, which carries tracks like Jompani, Nhamo Yamakandipa, ZiN’anga, and the title track Mwedzi Muchena, among others.

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