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The Bhundu Boys


Probably the most commercially and creatively successful act ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, the Bhundu Boys embodied the entire world music zeitgeist from the mid-’80s. Makers of the frenetic, guitar-dominated design they dubbed “jit,” they fused airy melodies, shimmering harmonies, and pulsating rhythms attracted from over the African continent to create music which was both alien and available. Acquiring their name from the guerrillas who supported Robert Mugabe in his effective war to earn Zimbabwe’s self-reliance from Britain, the Bhundu Young boys formed in Apr 1980 in the town of Harare, which translates actually (and, unfortunately, prophetically) as “loss of life just about everywhere.” Lead guitarist Rise Kagona constructed the initial lineup, which also included vocalist/guitarist Biggie Tembo, bassist David Mankaba, keyboardist Shakie Kangwena, and drummer Kenny Chitsvatsva. Producing perform with homemade tools, the Bhundu Young boys cut their tooth playing Traditional western pop addresses in township ale halls, and had been a local trend by enough time they were found out by erstwhile home creator Steve Roskilly, who cut their first classes in his house studio room, Shed. Their 1981 debut solitary, “Hatisitose,” topped the Zimbabwean graphs for 90 days directly, and in the years to check out the music group scored three even more national number types with “Baba Munini Francis,” “Wenhamo Haaneti,” and “Ndimboze.” The Bhundu Young boys’ ascent to worldwide fame started when Owen Elias and Doug Veitch, owners from the fledgling Discafrique label, journeyed from London to Harare searching for artists to indication. There they befriended Roskilly, and on his encouragement trim a offer to reissue the band’s information within the U.K. Elias and Veitch also plotted to create the Bhundu Children to Britain to tour, however when funding dry out Discafrique considered Scottish promoter Gordon Muir, who with time overran the band’s administration. Most critical towards the Bhundu Young boys’ developing momentum was the endorsement of BBC Radio One DJs John Peel off and Andy Kershaw, both of whom performed their Discafrique LPs Shabini and Tsvimbodzemoto incessantly — a couple of years later, Kershaw actually served as greatest guy at Tembo’s wedding ceremony. In 1987 Muir brokered a landmark cope with WEA, apparently the most profitable ever signed by way of a globe music act, even though at work on the major-label debut, the Bhundu Young boys opened three evenings for Madonna at Wembley Stadium, playing to some group of 240,000 at the non-public request from the Materials Young lady herself. But their 1988 WEA debut, Accurate Jit, was a tragedy, compromising the elegant simpleness of their previously work with an over-produced, Westernized sound that alienated their primary group of fans. The 1989 follow-up, Pamberi, was no better, and WEA terminated their agreement soon after. However the most severe destiny to befall the Bhundu Young boys was the leave of Tembo, who either stop or was terminated in past due 1989. Within the years to check out the singer break up his time taken between Britain and Zimbwabwe, exhibiting significantly irrational behavior — at one stage he became a member of a cult, preaching his newfound trust to general public transit travelers, and also made an appearance on Zimbabwean tv to state he was the sufferer of demonic ownership. Tembo also drifted in and out of music, dealing with Bristol music group the Startled Bugs, and even installed an ill-conceived profession in standup humor. In his lack, the Bhundu Young boys forged on, playing some benefit concerts within the fight against Helps — tragically, the condition would state the lives of no less than three from the group’s founding associates (Mankaba in 1991, bassist/vocalist Sheperd Munyama in 1992, and Kangwena in 1993), and within ten years, around 40 percent from the Zimbabwean people would register HIV-positive. Tragedy struck once again on July 29, 1995, when Tembo was discovered hanged within a Harare psychiatric medical center, just 37 during his suicide. Kagona set up a largely brand-new Bhundu Children lineup for 1997’s Muchiyedza, which paid tribute to his past due bandmates. Within the years to check out Kagona struggled to come back towards the music sector — based on Robert Chalmers’ tale within the March 20, 2005, model from the Guardian, he gained a meager living ironing clothing within a Scottish charity store, while primary drummer Chitsvatsva was last noticed generating a London minicab.

Quick Facts

Full Name Bhundu Boys
Music Songs Hatisitose, Simbimbino, Jit Jive, Hupenyu Hwangu, Baba Munini Francis, Kuroja Chete, Jekesa, Kutambura, Faka Puresha, Foolish Harp / Waerera, Wenhamo Haaneti, Shabini, Manhenga, Chekudya Chose, Rugare, Bye Bye Stembi, Pombi, Dai Ndakaziva, Hupenyu, My Foolish Heart, Pendeke, Chitaunhike, Pachedu, Ndoitasei, Radio Africa, Nhai Mukoma, Kachembere, Chemedzevana, Bitter to the South, Ziva Kwawakaba, Kupedza Muto, Church on Fire
Albums The Bhundu Boys, True Jit, Tsvimbodzemoto, Friends on the Road, Pamberi !, Shabini, Muchiyedza (Out of the Dark), Absolute Jit, Pamberi!, The Shed Sessions

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