Bongo Maffin launch a comeback
Four creatives have gone back into studio to make music
ONE of Mzansi’s iconic groups, Bongo Maffin, has finally given people what they want. After years of not releasing any music, they have just reminded South Africans why they were so influential in the culture of kwaito for all those years with a new single dubbed Harare. After a long time of trying to get back into studio, they are grateful to have made a comeback.
ORIGINAL AND ROOTED
It is quite telling that they are original and rooted in different African cultures just by looking at recent pictures together. Multi-culturalism certainly does run in their blood even at a time where Mzansi music has been influenced by Western sound. Group member, Jahseed, real name, Adrian Anesu Mupemhi, who is a Zimbabwean national, says, “It’s high time we people of southern region focus on what unites us than on what divides us; on what’s familiar and similar than what’s different among us.”
Perhaps this is what fans missed all these years when the group would be inundated with questions of when they are planning a comeback.
Another group member, Speedy, born Herald Matlhaku, says they have been trying to get back together and he is glad that it finally happened.
“For me, it’s quite emotional being in the studio as Bongo Maffin. I left the group 21 years ago, when I was just 18,” he says.
Speedy at the time went on to explore a solo career that was not rosy at all. Bongo Maffin continued with its three members, Thandiswa Mazwai, Stoan Seate and Jahseed. They went on to release two albums where hits such as The
way kungakhona were recorded. “It is great to be back. I mean I was 18 when I left. I am grown and wiser now,” Speedy says. The last offering was in 2005 with their album,
Construction. Even after Speedy had left, it was rumoured that there were squabbles within the group that saw group members going their separate ways. Sharing the same sentiments as Speedy, Jahseed says being back in the studio with Bongo Maffin is always a blessing.
“The recording process itself is like a coming together of experiences,” he says.
Over the years, the thirst for their music has also been sparked by snippets of their performances at festivals across the country. A year ago, at the One Live Source Festival, they were a main attraction and they gave a stellar performance.
Bongo Maffin has always represented a powerful moment in youth culture and has influenced a generation that now runs this country in all areas. Even with their return, they are adamant on keeping their original signature sound rooted in a mixture of different sounds.