Lingani Nyika, Chronicle Reporter
LITTLE known Victoria Falls-based sungura musician, George Gumbo, a teacher by profession, has released a six-track album titled Sawhanga, 17 years after the release of his debut Jambezi Stars Volume 1 in 2004.
Sawhanga was recorded in November last year and only launched last Monday on Breeze FM due to the ongoing lockdown which halted production.
The album was recorded at Monde Studios in Victoria Falls and mixed and mastered in Bulawayo.
Gumbo who was backed by Jambezi Super Sounds, co-produced the album with DanMag of Bulawayo.
Songs on the album which is a fusion of Tonga, Nambya, Nyanja, Ndebele and Shona languages are Ndauwe Jimugulu, Ndisiyei Ndiroorwe, Umise Amadolo, Xenophobia 2008, Ndipeiwo Chiedza and Saga Reshuga.
Gumbo said Ndauwe Jimugulu talks about the need to respect elders while Ndisiyei Ndiroorwe is a warning to parents not to force children into marriage or relationships.
Explaining why he decided to specialise in sungura music, Gumbo who is one of the few sungura musicians from Hwange district after Kwejani Band, said he grew up listening to the genre and developed an appreciation of it.
Gumbo, a music teacher at Chamabondo Primary in Victoria Falls, said he also has a passion for other genres like Afro-jazz and gospel.
He said he is willing to collaborate with other musicians to improve his career.
Commenting on the Covid-19 pandemic that has greatly affected the arts sector with most activities on halt, Gumbo said he was also adversely affected by the pandemic.
He however said he is optimistic that once people get vaccinated in their numbers, the pandemic will be contained.
“I’m hopeful that after the rollout of vaccination, maybe tourism will be revived and help restore livelihoods. This will also help revive the arts industry,” Gumbo said. — @NyikaLingani