BY STYLE REPORTER
South Africa-based Zimbabwean Afro-jazz musician Darlington “Mhofela” Tanganyika says the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled him to shelve the release of his fourth album titled Here.
Mhofela, who has been lying low in Johannesburg for more than a decade choosing to keep a low profile, told Standard Style that he has under his sleeve several tracks ready for release, but cannot do so because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
He said there was a glimmer of hope when the South African government relaxed its Covid-19 regulations, which saw the resumption of live shows around April and May.
However, the honeymoon was shortlived following a surge in cases of the respiratory disease that saw the South African government revising its regulations, including the banning of gatherings.
“I had wanted to take advantage of the reopening of live shows, but there came new regulations before we could put things in order. So, we were forced to postpone,” Mhofela said.
“We will end up doing a virtual launch and do a number of videos to make use of online spaces.”
Some of the songs on the album include Zvine Basa Rei?, Nyamukuta, Here, Chengaose, Amangu, Dongo, Musapise Sora, Gotwe and Mugoti Webhachura.
Mhofela has roped in some of Zimbabwe’s best musicians based in South Africa who include former Alick Macheso drummer Obert Gomba, Simon Mike, Nicolas Musonza, Richard Chiyadzwa, Malvin Sarutawa and Isaac Sande.
Former backing vocalist at Jah Prayzah’s 3G (3rd Generation) outfit Pamela “Gonyeti” Zulu features on the album.
“Many people, especially my fellow countrymen feature on this project. I thank them very much and I also thank Doctor Dimbi for helping through the project. Hats off to Mr Silent Killer, who is eager to support and help with videos,” Mhofela said.
Mhofela, although he is not known much in his home country, has contributed much to the growth of Zimbabwean music in South Africa.
He has three albums under his sleeve and these include Rwendo, Mhaiyo and Nhiyo. His singles include Kwandakabva Kure Nenhamo (dancehall), Tapinda Tapinda, Matitorera (a dedication to the late Oliver Mtukudzi), Muteyi Weshiri, Munamato and Coronavirus, a song focusing on preventive measures against the respiratory disease.
The Chiweshe-born singer has modernised the traditional beat, fusing it with a modern flavour, including the acoustic guitar.
“I have always maintained the Zimbabwean beat in my music, although I have to blend the beat with the acoustic guitar, which is distinct in my music,” Mhofela said.
Tanganyika said because of his Korekore roots, his music sounds more like that of Mtukudzi whose distinctive raspy voice was powered by his Korekore twang.