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3 Songs to Carry You to Zimbabwe 

Daniel Suarez once said, “To understand a people, you need to wade into their culture. It’s culture that tells their tale. And music is culture.”

Zimbabwe is home to various indigenous sounds from her homegrown instruments that give the country its unique appeal. Let us take you on a musical journey with 3 songs to carry you to Zimbabwe. 

The Ancestral Instrument 

To understand Zimbabwean people, you need to immerse yourself in the culture and there is no sound that is more culturally descriptive than that of the Mbira

Nhemamusasa is undeniably one of the most popular mbira songs from Zimbabwe. Loosely translated it means  ‘temporary shelter’ in Shona and it is among the oldest songs in the mbira repertoire of Zimbabwe.

The song communicates a sense of peace and calm during the turbulence that life can bring and the importance of taking shelter knowing that trouble lies ahead. 

Brought into the mainstream by Mbuya Stella Chiweshe in the 1970’s, Nhemamusasa was rerecorded and brought to a younger audience by the late mbira queen Chiwoniso Maraire.

Are you curious to hear more mbira music? We have created a playlist for you to explore while you keep reading.

 

Music That Knows No Borders

Choosing three songs in a country rich with beautiful, unique and inspiring music is a feat, but it would be a crime to miss Neria by the late Oliver Mtukudzi. Neria is known and loved almost all over the world by a majority of people who do not know what it means. That’s the true power of music.

The soundtrack to the highest-grossing film in Zimbabwean history, Neria was recorded in 1993 as the title track to the movie of the same name. The story was written by Tsitsi Dangarembga and directed by Godwin Mawuru. It revolves around the life of a woman whose husband dies in a car accident, leaving her to pick up the pieces. Mtukudzi himself starred in the movie as Jethro, Neria’s brother. The song, therefore, sings from the perspective of a brother to his sister, comforting her through a difficult period.

For our brothers and sisters who have been singing a version of this, here are the actual words (thank us later) while you listen to the legendary strings that bring it to life:

Neria, Neria wooo

(Neria, Neria)

 

Usawore moyo ka Neria, Mwari venewe

(Don’t be disheartened Neria, God is with you)

 

Usawore moyo ka Neria, Mwari venewe

(Don’t be disheartened Neria, God is with you)

 

Mwari vanewe ka Neria, Mwari vanewe

(God is with you Neria, God is with you)

 

Though the song is often accompanied with the heart ache experienced in the film by Neria, it also shows Zimbabwe’s  wealth in music and film. In addition, it shows the warmth and unity of its people.

 

The Song of Hope

No words make Zimbabweans all over the globe more united, nostalgic and proud, than the words “This land our land, is our Zimbabwe, a land of peace for you and me…”

Though the song will mainly carry Zimbabweans across the globe, home, it carries the connection that Zimbabweans have to their home. Their land. “This our land, our Zimbabwe.”

In this song titled Our Zimbabwe, Henry Olonga and Bonnie Deuschle carry the Zimbabwean people’s yearnings, hopes and dreams, for success, unity and a bright future. As we are talking about a song, have a listen. Should you want to sing along, we have you covered. 

Though I may go to distant borders

My heart will yearn for this my home

For time and space may separate us

And yet she holds my heart alone

Now flies the flag, my nation’s glory

I’ll live with pride inside my heart

I’ll make a stand to build this nation

This is my land, my Zimbabwe.”

 

We would love to hear what you think about these and more topics on Zimbabwe, get in touch with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 

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