Of The Voice Of Music

What is music? Beats, bars and notes fused together into a rhythm so much more than its sum total.

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

-Bob Marley

The soul of music

I think man has had music in his life from when he could first talk, before that even; when he could not talk only hum and grunt or even way back from that moment when out of curiosity he clapped his hands for the first time…..

Music was our first voice, our first story…..

Here is a free tip: if you want to predict whether a song will be a hit…. Play it for kindergarten toddlers, if they start dancing, without anyone telling them to dance, you have yourself a chart topper……. simple

Music is the first voice you hear, I don’t mean the words to a song but the song and its story in all its entirety; how it all blends in and makes you feel… that voice….. And then we grow up, we start trying to pay more attention to the lyrics, to make sense of them, or the beat and trying to dance to impress, like someone is watching…

Are you surprised, you willalways look back on music from yester-year and say, that’s when they made good music….?

Music is dynamic, music changes but the voice is always the same you grow up and cant hear it anymore.

I remember this old song barely but my sisters loved it, when it played they danced their little hearts out it. I used to pick them up after school and we would walk home and this one day the song was playing loudly from the speakers outside a shop, we stopped and they danced. A small crowd of people gathered, they even threw money…..

Ndochi by Papa Jose…… shamwari tamba iwe (dance my friend)

No party was complete without this song.

Growing up, waiting impatiently for Thursday nights, because that’s when ZBC TV showed the music program, Mvenge Mvenge; Mutinhimira weMimanzi Ezomugidho (translates to The Sound of Music) My brothers recorded the good stuff on the VCR so we could watch again and again.

James Chimombe and John Chibadura were popular favourites. Years later I am all grown up and I realise some of the songs had a weird touch of melancholy they sang about death, heartbreak and loss and we danced to it on Christmas holidays.

As a country I don’t think we have had a particularly distinct music sound that is ours and ours alone,  the most popular genre Sungura started as a spin-off from the popular rhumba ndombolo music from the DRC.

In the late 90s the government instituted a media blanket which only allowed airplay of 100% local content, partly to help boost and encourage the local music and others less benevolent reasons. It left a void for those who loved western type music hip hop, the rhythm and blues, and the gap was filled by a genre of music called Urban Grooves.

Artists who rose to fame then were David Chifunyise and a collection of artists from his Shamiso records studio and the man who did the beats Delani Makhalima

David Chifunyise – Tauya Naye

And then there Pax Afro a group sponsored by the then Minister of information and publicity who was the writer and composer of the songs too, the jingles were catchy though

Let it play – Pax Afro

One of my all time favourite local songs Chidzoka by Rocquie

I will still dance to this.!!!

And today a new genre is talking over inspired by dancehall music from Jamaica. Zim Dancehall to the world, its fast paced, the new youth culture, the new voice of music….Popular Artists  include Soul Jah love, Tocky Vibes, Bounty Lisa, Winky D

I love music by Jah Prayzah, I don’t know what genre his music is but he has various local award and nominations.

Hello – Jah Prayzah

 

And it my list would not be complete if I did not mention Oliver Mtukudzi, he has been churning out hits from before I was born… and still going strong, now that is legendary!!!

Oliver Mtukudzi

We are born loving music and dancing,…..then innocence is lost

 

~B

PS How could I forget to mention this song, I really loved it and I was gravely crashed while looking it up to find out that’s it’s a cover….

Rusike Brothers – Cecelia

Day 7 Blog Everyday Challenge

photo Credit Oliver Mtukudzi

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Of Coffee grown from a teapot shaped country

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you tell you that, it feels like I spoke too soon when I announced Spring is here yesterday because today is a cold day like we rewound time to the middle of winter. But everything works out perfectly, we wont need an excuse to light a fire and drink a liquid hug in a mug…..

My friend Josh, left a comment on my last post that had me thinking, my country is teapot shaped and that is not a bad thing, it could be anything really; Oneta mentioned her state looks like a pan handle… what is your country or state shaped like?

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

Today is day 2 of my blog everyday challenge; and if you were having coffee with me I would tell you to allow me to pour you tales grown from my teapot shaped country.

I am the second born child in a family of five siblings (and now we are 4). I grew up in an extremely large family because my dad rest his soul had a heart of gold and if any relation needed a place to stay he would agree quickly without a second thought.

The family.jpg

We didn’t have rules any rules in the house; if we did they we less than ten and they weren’t really rules they were more like I would rather you didnts

If there was one rule we had, it was that the word cousin never be used, we had no cousins, we had brothers and sisters. In our culture my uncles (my father’s brothers) are my fathers and my aunts (my mum’s sisters) are my mothers and so their children are my siblings. It’s a great way to keep the family united and when my dad passed away although I missed him I never felt the void of missing a father figure.

Every school holiday we went visiting, either the paternal or the maternal grandparents alternating each time..

grandmaGranma

That one was not a rule that was a commandment. It helped to keep us grounded, we knew where we came from.

Grandfather and grandchild

My Grandad and I

All the stories told, suddenly years later I realise they are so much more than stories and this is why I too am a storyteller, keeping wisdom alive in the embers of a story.

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you I was born to tell stories

Baby Beaton

 

I could speak before I could walk, and I walked before I could stand. I am told people found that highly disturbing I wouldn’t know I don’t remember…. What I do remember is that once upon a time my dad and I snuck out the house to go to a barbecue with the guys, I was made to swear not to reveal where we had gone, what we had done and whom we had done it with and was bribed with an insane amount of soft drinks, kebabs, ice creams and sweets. As soon as I got out home the first words out of my mouth to my mum were:

I am not telling you that I am not supposed to tell you that I was given sweets to not tell you that…..

I am sure my dad was not amused at all.

I am a fairly decent cook and I am super modest about it, you might even find my picture right under the definition of Modesty. Growing up my mum didn’t differentiate chores for the boys and girls she would just suggest, I would rather you didn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, I would rather you all helped each other cook….

African parents are known for their heavy handed justice but I never got beat up, ,maybe we were model children and growing up without a father we were forced to be mature kids we never needed disciplining or rules…..

Family

already reading newspapers, helping “kids” with homework

My older brother was off at boarding school and so suddenly  I become “the responsible child”

Prefect

The Prefect

I was a prefect in primary school, a dorm prefect in junior high, a table leader at the the dining and a senior prefect in high school…. I never became a government minister though…..😂😂

what was your childhood like?

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

PS a rare picture of my mum and dad way before The Kids

A rare photo.jpg

A rare picture of me being a baby

me .jpg

 

 

 

Of The Doctor’s Garden

Genre: Mystery/ Fantasy

He rather liked his garden, it was calming, to sit in the leafy shade, watching the breeze sway tree branches, it was calming, in exactly the way a storm calmed just before. This, he imagined is how it must have felt for the pilots who flew high in the skies and had the vantage point to see the earth in all its glory and then drop nuclear bombs on it. The swaying branches dropped leaves as if in commiseration;

“Wounded by the wind the trees wept dead leaves”

Yes, a storm was coming and he was brewing it. He plugged in a pair of headphones, they fit snugly over his ears and music trickled into his head as if he had sub-woofers directly in his brain. Rock music no less, no wonder they called it the devil’s own, the beat seemed to invade your very chore and take over you. He closed his eyes and gave himself to the music, nodding to the infectious rhythm. Everybody wants to be a rock star, or at least live like one.

He must have dozed off, because when he opened his eyes the sun was much lower in the sky and the temperature had noticeably dropped. Were he a lesser mortal he would have shivered but he was cut from a different cloth, and there had been no left over fabric. It could be said they had broken the loom, and executed the seamstress after he had been sewn. He chuckled silently to himself as he visualized himself as an all-encompassing fabric cloaking the entire world in darkness. He had never been one to be moderate, he operated in the realm of the extreme, because otherwise what was the point.

He got up from his reverie and carelessly brushed away the leaves from his coat, with hands that left smudges of dirt; gardening was dirty business one really had to get down to earth and dig deep; from the dirt you were born to the dirt you will return, to bloom again. He looked at the freshly covered patches he had dug earlier, he had dug twelve, but two were still yet to be filled; he would leave it a task for another day. At this rate he would need a bigger backyard soon, he had already helped himself to his neighbour’s  dog and garden plot, after all his neighbour no longer needed it. What’s his name, the neighbour, could not even remember his name, had been like that pesky ubiquitous mosquito, buzzing in your ear;

“Oh you want to sleep let me sing you a lullaby, oh, you want to just relax let me sing you a soothing symphony, are you just gazing at the moon, let me serenade you with the beautiful fruit of my vocals; Oh you are gardening let me____”

And that was how he had become the first to be planted, the first to sprout and soon he would be the first to bloom. That was the thing with mortals they were resilient, they bloomed where they were planted, even in the harshest environment you would find a plant blooming; defying all reason and logic; it was beautiful. Its pity a flower’s beauty is lost on it, it has no eyes, it cannot see itself and no one is kind enough to hold a mirror next to their favourite flowers, nothing blooms faster than a flower admired.

Mortals have such a toxic admiration they see a beautiful flower and they pluck it so they could admire it in a favourite vase and yet just succeed in watching it wither and die. Couldn’t they have just admired it from the garden, or a pot plant? Some things he could never understand, just like their need to possess things in order to be happy.

The possession he understood was of a different sort though, he had possessed a few souls careless enough to dabble in realms they did not understand. Would you reduce your lifespan for possessions and status? The answer should be a clear no, because life is precious, but believe it or not, quite the number are willing to trade their life for fortune and fame, to be rock stars.

He had recruited a number of people to help him distribute flyers for his business, he called himself; The Doctor.

The Doctor.jpg

The front part of his house had been converted into a waiting area like a doctor’s waiting room and there would be a receptionist soon, business was booming; he could not keep up with the increased volume of calls and consultations. His latest recruit X had been quite the catch, he was influential and came from a royal lineage, a shame they had paid more heed to wealth than to their heritage and now X was indebted to him; when he would have been one to save the world; he would help brew the storm that was coming. After the storm, all this world would be a beautiful garden once again like it had been, in the beginning.

Without realizing it he had walked round to the front of the house and was now gazing at the street, watching a young couple arms linked; walking past his gate, he marveled at the purity of young love, and was about to turn back and walk into his house; until that is, he noticed that the young man’s lady friend; in her left hand, she held a single red rose delicately by the stem…

He waved at them and cheerfully accosted the young lad;

Hi there young man, what a rare beauty you have there; if you would like I can show you a flower that’s more worthy of her radiance, a purple rose, it’s in my garden…

The young lad hesitated, although his lady had taken a step towards the gate.

Oh do come in and I will even give you a vase for your rose you don’t want it wilting before you get home now do you?..”

He opened the gate for them and they hesitantly followed him down the path to the garden, again like sheep; to where two new garden patches lay; dug open____

That would make today 12, the magic number, a wizard’s dozen, not a bad day’s gardening……

He whistled to himself a nursery rhyme he once heard from an old friend;

Reaper Reaper Quite the creeper How does your garden grow?

With neighbors, strangers stopping by And pea pods all in a row

The End

~B

My BlogBattle Entry for this week.

Continues the story The Doctor if you want to play catch up you can read;

Of Needful Garden

Of Needful Things

The rhyme at the end of the story is from  Sarah in comment to a twitter thread which the character in this story is based.