Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
AFRO-POP outfit Sinazo is delighted with its nomination for the inaugural Skyz Metro FM awards saying it was a stamp of approval for their genre, Kalanga House, which resonates with many in Zimbabwe.
The United Kingdom-based group has been nominated under the Song of the Year category for their track Kalanga Child, alongside Clement Magwaza’s Tjandapiwa, Ngam’nanka by Madlela Skhobokhobo, Zankaleli by Ras Boom & DJ Ace Kater and Sandra Ndebele feat Mzoe7’s Ingoma.
This nomination amongst some of the country’s top musicians speaks volumes about Sinazo even though they are four years in the business.
Head of the group, UK based Tish Malaba said whatever happens during awards night, it was now up to them to work hard to produce quality music to get continued support from fans.
“I feel that Bulawayo as the City of Queens and Kings is beginning to recognise, respect and appreciate their own sons and daughters and this must not be an incentive only to us but to all Bulawayo musicians. Skyz Metro FM has done its duty, now it’s up to us up-and-coming musicians to monetise it,” said Malaba.
The group, formed in South Africa in 2013, comprises Malaba, Lorin Sibanda, Khaliphile Sibanda and DJ Dash.
With this recognition they join other stars who sing in Kalanga such as Martin Sibanda and Ndolwane Super Sounds and Magwaza. These are predominantly rhumba musicians and Sinazo is a group bringing a touch of Afro house fused into their music which appeals to the urban youth and the young at heart.
Kalanga Child has vocals by Dudu Sibanda from all female acapella group Nobuntu and was also produced by DJ Dash-Zimbabwe.
Malaba, who was born in Sigangatsha area of Kezi, Matabeleland South said Kalanga Child was a special dedication to his child Indrie who was born two years ago.
“My mother told me that when I was young I once said I’ll sing about my child. So two years ago when Indrie was born, I said to myself here is that chance to produce a song,” said Malaba.
The song was produced in 2015 but only got airplay in Zimbabwe last year although it had been popular in Botswana for two years.
“It was very popular on Botswana radio stations but had never been played in Zimbabwe. It was only after Zaza played it on ZiFM or Star FM, I’m not sure, last year that everything shaped up as people started noticing Sinazo and our Kalanga House Music,” said Malaba.
It was not always an easy road as their journey started off bumpy with their first album flopping in 2013 after Sinazo was formed the same year.
Malaba described it as a rude awakening admitting that the album was poorly produced.
“It was really bad. We released an album which was of poor quality. One UK company ordered 20 copies and returned all of them citing poor quality. It was so embarrassing but what doesn’t kill you makes you strong”.
He said he was determined to produce quality songs that will enable him to preserve his Kalanga language and culture through music.
“What I want to do is to preserve my Kalanga heritage through music. This is very important to us as Sinazo, because if we don’t do it ourselves who’ll do it for us,” said Malaba.
Other songs the group has produced include Amasoweto featuring Khaly S, Kalanga Culture Lover featuring DJ Stitcha and Ndombolo featuring Dr Kii which was number one recently on Skyz Metro FM’s sister radio station, Breeze FM.