Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THERE should be more books to capture African knowledge and music so that future generations have a reference point and to preserve the rich heritage the continent has.
This was said by award winning Iyasa director Nkululeko Dube on Thursday night during his keynote speech at renowned drummer Othnell “Mangoma” Moyo’s book launch at Indaba Book Cafe in Bulawayo.
The book, entitled, Zimbabwe Ngoma/iNgungu Rhythms and Songs Book 1, documents Bulawayo Township Rhythms and Songs from the period 1995 to 2010 with every rhythm, song and technique written in musical staff notation. The book comes with a tutorial DVD.
Dube commended Mangoma for documenting how to play the drums as he was one in few from Africa and in Zimbabwe in particular, to have embarked on such an initiative.
“Imagine if Lovemore Majaivana had left us with a book on his music. Imagine if Chiwoniso Maraire had written a book about her amazing music and mbira sounds. Just think of it, what if Don Gumbo had left us with a handbook on how he played the guitar,” said Dube.
He added: Stories preserved are as good as wealth preserved for future generations to learn from and rediscover themselves as people”.
Internationally, Dube said, the legacies of stars such as Michael Jackson, The Jackson Five, Elvis Presley and many more have been well documented but unfortunately for Zimbabwean stars, there is none.
“I’m yet to read a book about the lives of Solomon Skuza, Ndux Malax and Simon Banda and how they became heroes of their time. Many of them die and take their inspirational stories to the grave,” he said.
Dube said Mangoma managed to express in writing what many artistes will take to the grave.
Mangoma said when he was out on tour, he would be asked by many people to write down how he played the drum.
“I want to document the knowledge that I have as during my travels others have done so. In doing that they have preserved their culture and heritage and I want to do the same with this book. I want the youth to use it as a reference point when they want to learn about drumming,” he said.
“That is why I studied staff notation at Music Crossroads Academy of Zimbabwe to help preserve Zimbabwean rhythms.”