Monday, December 11, 2006

Song of the Week: Ndakuvara - Oliver Mtukudzi

Zimbabwean artists Oliver Mtukudzi, also known affectionately as Tuku, has a powerful soulful voice which brims with emotion. Most of his songs focus on the struggle of the average person, although fans sometimes claim that his music has veiled criticisms of the government. Unlike his more politically active compatriot, Thomas Mapfumo, Mtukudzi has chosen to remain publically silent on political issues. This song too, if one took it as a stretched metaphor, could possibly be a criticism of Mugabe . . . or just a song about an ox. Whatever the case is, I absolutely love this song and, for me, it packs a powerful emotional punch. Disappointment with the choices of a loved one is a universal theme, I guess.


PietHarsevoort said...

This has to be the greatest song about a wayward ox I have ever heard.

Seriously, though, an amazing song. Mtukudzi's voice is wonderfully evocative. Even though I obviously didn't understand a word of it I think even without the helpful subtitles the tone of the lyrics would have shone through. I had never heard of Mtukudzi, so kudos for the introduction. Would you recommend Mapfumo as well?

Jake Belder said...

Oh man, nobody knows how to sing from the soul like Africans (gross overgeneralization perhaps, but seems true from my perception).

John den Boer said...

Piet - I have not heard enough of Mapfumo to recommend him, but from what I have heard, it is quite good. Apparently he spurred on the revolutionaries during the Ian Smith days in Rhodesia and then became highly critical of Mugabe after Zimbabwe's independence and is now in self-imposed exile. He has quite a deep voice.

Jake - It often seems that way. It's amazing to me that a song in a differnt language can bring up so many emotions.

Jake Belder said...

"Disappointment with the choices of a loved one is a universal theme, I guess."

I've been thinking about this line ever since you wrote it John, it's pretty profound.

Who deh?