Bongo Maf­fin launch a come­back

Four cre­atives have gone back into stu­dio to make mu­sic

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Bonolo Sekudu

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.

LAST OF­FER­ING

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.

MAIN AT­TRAC­TION

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.

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