Mashona’s latest offering, Kumusha: Road Home, which has seen Mashona, the backing vocalists, the producer, the guitarist and the sound engineer all coming together as one packaged studio band, is a heartfelt tribute to Mashona’s boyhood, culture and systematic belief in a Creator God, to whom Mashona
accredits his art and influence. In one of his songs, Kwachivi, Mashona reminisces the changes that have become evident in his paternal chieftainship between the period he was a little boy herding his family’s livestock and the contemporary times when both the landscape and the people have been affected by time. In the lyrics, he laments the migration of people who used to be key in the faculty of land conservation and food management. These key people, according to the lyrics, had grown up and moved away to become different things; some had become more successful than others, some had dropped the village life for computers, while others had left the village to follow new dreams, or retired to the final resting place.
Nevertheless, the one single image that can be visualized through the tracks on this album is an adolescent boy, imaginably shirtless, kicking a ball-shaped bundle of plastic bags, or fumbling his fingers on 5-string oil-can guitar always in the key of G; in those glorious days before cars, buses and planes ferried his peers to big cities where music was never to be the same again. In those days, when boys kicked the ball and girls played ‘marbles’ – boys stayed away from girls, not because of the fear of the AIDS pandemic, but rather because of her protective brother. In comes the new day of bigger houses and smaller families, while nephews and nieces are squatting in the cold outside; the new day of dual income, but broken families. WhatsApp has replaced that infamous gossip-happy neighbour who always had something to say about the current affairs; while Facebook timelines have taken the place of that one aunt in every family who used to expose the niece’s dark past on her wedding day.
Reminiscent to those good old times is this modernized fusion of the hybrid Zimbabwean and global rhythms we are all familiar with. We do hope that you will foot-tape with the rest of us. We all have a Nineveh task ahead of us – Rwendo Rurefu!
Mashona Music – we are taking this Afro-Fusion music from one nation to the next until this message is placed right. Vive La Difference! Together we can step right forward; but divided we fail. Nhano dzedu!