NOBUNTU, Byo - CLOSEUP

Finally, a royal wedding in Bulawayo

Nkululeko Nkala

From time immemorial we have been called the City of Kings and Queens. This comes true on Saturday 4 March when Kings of Imbube and The Queens of harmony indulge us at the Bulawayo Music Academy.

Ia��m talking about legendary outfit Black Umfolosi and Sultry all-female ensemble-Nobuntu. For decades, Umfolosi has been churning hit after hit and globetrotting. Nobuntu are fairly young as an outfit but have toured the world extensively.

What do these two have in common?

They are both suckers for harmony and they do it right. They are celebrated more in foreign lands than locally. They each have five members, they all sing in five parts which are lead vocals, bass, baritone, turner and alto/soprano.

I know one may wonder how an all-girl band could have a bass singer, but trust me Nobuntu has an able one in Dudu. She sings bass the way most men would not.

I was tempted to say we are set to witness what could be the show of the year!A� But I will not say that, ita��s still early days.

I mean, just a few weeks back I thought I had witnessed what could arguably be the best show at Hwabaratya��s launch and now with the coming show I am hopeful for an even better piece.

I attended these two accapella greatsa�� rehearsal yesterday. I have watched them a lot of times individually, so I was curious. Nobuntu do not perform much when they are at home. The last time I watched them was when they collaborated with Award winning Umkhathi Theatre last year at Bulawayo Theatre. It was a show and a half. They matched the amazing dancers step for step and put the icing on the cake with their sweet harmonies. Now imagine amazing harmony plus amazing harmony? We can only expect fireworks. I do not want to pre-empt the show, but this is what I saw and heard.

Because of their evenly matched numbers, their collaborative act looks nice, with the simple girl boy, girl boy formation.

Black Umfolosi are well known for their hit track Unity, a catchy sing-along tune which knows no language barriers.

Now factor in Nobuntu with their high-pitched vocals and harmonies. The song is a killer. I just hope they can record it and give it a new lease of life. Still at the rehearsal, I then watched one by Nobuntu which featured Black Umfolosi.

Ita��s like these two groups are meant for each other. Their individual songs are amazing, but when they feature each other they both bring in something special.

I do not know whose idea it is to collaborate the Kings and Queens of Harmony, but it sure is a master stroke. So yes, finally there is a wedding in the City of Kings and Queens. Ita��s royalty in harmony, ita��s the best of both worlds; ita��s the talented young with the experienced old. Ita��s imbube music like we have never seen before. The show is $5 and starts at 6pm. Leta��s continue supporting local art. Until next week, be safea��@NkueNkala