MULTI-AWARD winning traditional singer Busi Mhlanga on Saturday released yet another cultural single.The Gqi gqi gqi single, which incorporates a popular Ndebele poem “Mzwazwa kankoviyo”, is aimed at preserving the IsiNdebele language.Based in the United Kingdom (UK), the multi-talented artiste, who hails from Bulawayo, has not forgotten the norms and values of her culture and wishes the new generation would learn it and from it.Infused with AmaPiano touch, Mhlanga hopes the song will be a sing-along for the younger generation and a way to teach proper isiNdebele language and syllables.
In the first 30 seconds, Mhlanga imitates the sound of birds by pulling off an impressive hand flute. By this she believes the older generation would be reminded of the days when mere sound was a code of communication.
She vividly remembers the old days when she and her cousins used to recite the poem on their way to the stream to fetch water.“I decided to record the poem because it takes me back to the days when I was growing up. My cousins and I would sing it when going to the stream to fetch water and sometimes we would come together as children to sing it. Those are memorable times. What I have realised is that this poem is not just for fun, but it was teaching us the isiNdebele language.“It consists of many isiNdebele syllables which make the language rich. As a cultural ambassador it is my duty to carry on the legacy to the young ones.
When something is recorded and uploaded on online platforms, it does not get lost, it will always be there in the archives. As you listen to the song you will realise that I have infused it with Amapiano because I want the young ones to be attracted and have interest in the song,” said Mhlanga.She said her music plays a big role in promoting cultural norms and values.“As an artiste and as an adult, I believe I should play a role in educating through my music and carrying the legacy that our grandfathers left for us. From this single those who don’t know the poem will start learning it. While those who know it will start analysing insight of the hidden message thus they improve their literary skills in the process.
“The whistle and imitation of the birds in the single is to include and remind the older generation of the different sounds that boys used to communicate with in the bush when herding cattle. Those sounds later became codes that they used,” she said.Mhlanga said she recorded the sounds herself so that they become effective and hopes that schools play it for the children to learn.“I recorded myself making the sounds so that I would not ruin what I’m trying to portray. I am hoping schools would play it so that children learn. I do all this whilse based in the UK. I always tell people that you can take an African out of Africa, but you cannot take Africa out of them. This is me Busi Mhlanga, the queen of AbeNguni.“I always try to promote the African culture and heritage through my music, dressing and self-presentation. Songs like Nyawolwami dlalisu’ nyawo lwami and Londolozela which I recorded before, I am assured that they are safe and will never die. One way or the other the children would come across them on YouTube.
“I worked on the song collaborating with one of our young upcoming Bulawayo DJs and producer Ntuthuko Ndlovu aka Deejay Ntu2kay and also produced by Growzie who is a British Nigerian young producer,” Mhlanga said.