By Langalakhe Mabena
Bongo Maffin are in the studio working on their seventh album and Jah Seed, one of the group’s members, promised that the production would be better than the ones that shot them to fame.
Bongo Maffin are one of the pioneers of South Africa’s kwaito music. Without them, the genre would not be that much acclaimed as it is today. Kwaito music lovers know too well songs they released such as Thathi Sgubhu, The Way Kunga Khona, Mari Ye Pepa and Gudo Guru.
The crew comprising Stoan, Thandiswa Mazwai, Jah Seed and Speedy rose to fame in the 90s for their hit albums, The Concerto, Bongolution, IV and New Construction.
However, in 2008 the group broke up due to differences. It reunited in 2017 courtesy of a Castle Lager commercial advert.
Bongo Maffin founding member, Jah Seed, real name Anesu Mupembi, revealed to The Chronicle that they are in the studio recording their seventh album.
From his base in Johannesburg, Jah Seed revealed that they have put their differences aside as a group and they are happy to be in the studio recording an album.
“As you know Bongo Maffin took a hiatus in 2008 due to different views and also pursuing other things like love, education and solo projects, the main man Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa motivated us to do away with our differences and re-unite for the sake of our fans. Thanks to the Castle Lager commercial which fuelled the reunification.
“We are working hard in the studio and everyone is putting in work and full of energy so that our fans can have a perfect album better that those of before,” said Jah Seed in a telephone interview.
The album which is set to be released in September will also feature their 2018 hit single which took fans by storm titled: Harare.
More interestingly, the group’s “prodigal” son, Speedy, who abandoned them in the early 2000s will also be part of the new Bongo Maffin set-up.
“Speedy has always been part of Bongo Maffin, and it was a great initiative to bring back the young lad in the group as he’s bringing ‘speedy’ flavour, voice and energy. He’s happy and does respect the group since his exit as we took Bongo Maffin to another level during his absence,” he said .
Jah Seed credited Speedy and Stoan for coming up with the song Harare.
“More credit has to be given to him (Speedy) and Stoan as they are the ones who came up with the idea of the song Harare, which our fans love so much. Speedy called me one day and asked how he can say ‘I want to go to Harare’ in Shona. I responded like, ‘Ndoda kuenda kuHarare’.
“He then sent me a melody and it had some pronunciation mistakes, so I had to record something as a guideline to him. However, upon hearing the way I sang it, the producers then said I personally have to sing that part,” said Jah Seed.
With the recent catastrophic Cyclone Idai which claimed at least 268 Zimbabweans including some from Jah Seed’s village of origin in Njanja, Chivhu in Mashonaland East, the album will also feature a song that will be a special dedication to the victims of Cyclone Idai.
The dreadlocked chanter also revealed that fans should expect three singles before the album is released.
“Before we release the album we’ll release three singles that’ll be complemented by videos. Fans should stand by for the release of the single titled Freedom Fighter as currently we are finalising its release,” said Jah Seed. The Chronicle