BULAWAYO – Musician Clement Ncube, better known in music circles as Clement Magwaza is convinced that fast-paced music genres like sungura and tshibilika will always remain the bedrock of Zimbabwean music.
Despite playing second fiddle to music genres followed by the youths like Zimdancehall and Zim hip-hop over the past few years, Magwaza believes tshibilika/sungura has enduring power.
“If anything, the Democratic Republic of Congo is known for rhumba and South Africa is generally associated with house or kwaito and in the same vein Zimbabwe will never tire of its fast-paced music genres,” Magwaza told the Daily News on Sunday.
He added that now and again some emergent music genres will catch the fancy of Zimbabwean music fans but not for long.
“Well, we appreciate that there are other genres that are coming up but you will realise that these genres seem to have a lifespan, a short one for that matter.
“Look back where we are coming from. Those who pioneered tshibilika here like Solomon Skuza and Ndux Malax have long gone but we have taken over determined to take the genre to new heights. The music is still popular because people love it,” the Nansi Ndaba singer said.
The Plumtree-born musician, who first attracted national attention in 2011 thanks to his hit Kokotsha makokotsha, off the album Take Take, earned his stage name from music fans who were fascinated by his “fast and furious dance style.”
“Magwaza is the name that came out from my fans who felt that the way I dance was like “stabbing” hence the name Magwaza. I appreciated that and today that’s the name everyone knows,” he said.
But how did Magwaza venture into tshibilika music? “I started singing in 1999 under Aloy Zibane and the Car Sounds before moving to Madalaboy. I was young and enjoying music. It was great just being part of the band.
“In 2001, I then joined Ndolwane Super Sounds before they split. I stayed there till 2006 and a year later I decided to form my own band,” the tshibilika star said.
Magwaza has not looked back. He has churned out eight albums over a 11-year period.
“I released my first album in 2007 which was titled Isneke, which was followed by many others which include Belinda, Nansi Ndaba, Take Take Uyala Ugogo, Umpalakazi and Stambo Sami,” said the hit-maker.
Like wine, Magwaza feels he has grown better with age. He singled out his last three albums as his best.
“From those albums that’s where some of the best songs according to fans have come from but for me all my songs are the best because I put my effort into each of them,” he said.
Though he refused to divulge details about his upcoming project set to be released on October 28, Magwaza is convinced that it will cement his credentials as one of the leading lights in sungura/tshibilika music in the country.
“I have a lot of confidence in my forthcoming project. I am sure it will be up there with the best,” he said.
Magwaza has recorded his eight albums either in Harare or in South Africa.
“There are very good studios here in the southern region but I am just used to these two places. As for Harare it used to be my favourite place when my producer Tymon Mabaleka was still alive,” he explained.
The tshibilika artiste said he was motivated to take up music by listening to many local exponents of past-paced music.
“When I was growing up I used to like music by Mokis Connection and I still appreciate their music. I also like Alick Macheso’s music. He is a very talented and inspirational artiste,” Magwaza said.
While most musicians from the southern region believe that their music is being deliberately marginalised by national radio stations, Magwaza sees it differently.
“The problem is some of us complain about our music not being played on air but I have been to the radio stations and they have told me that we don’t bring the music to them. We are also not holding many shows to promote our music,” he said.