Of Solo Na Mutsai: The Story Behind The Song

It’s a throw back *boom* it’s a long time ago, what year is it, where are you and what’s the hit love song that makes you want to fall in love……..

This song is from back, way back:
Solo Na Mutsai by Jonah Moyo and the Devera Ngwena Jazz band.

Solo and mutsai

The most famous couple in the literary world hands down has to be Romeo and Juliet, even though the love story is tragic for the star-crossed lovers. Zimbabwe’s most famous couple is without a doubt Solo and Mutsai, made popular by the track by Jonah Moyo and propelled the Devera Ngwena Jazz Band to stardom in the 80s

Solo Na Mutsai Lyrics (and English Translation)

Solo Na Mutsai vana vanodana avo (Solo and Mutsai these kids love each other)
Nyangwe ukaita tujerasi hapana zvinombobatsira (Even if you get jealous it cant be helped)

Vana vanodana maGutu vaomesa (These kids love each other in Gutu they are speechless)
Rudo rwavo rwukuru (Their love is great)
Shamwira bvira kure (bad friends better stay away)

Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Vana vanodana avo (These Kids love each other)
Mangawana ndichaenda kwaGutu kunotsvaka wangu Mutsai (Tomorrow I am going to Gutu to find my own Mutsai)

Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
rambai makadaro (Stay like that)
Solo Na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
tinoda muchate (we want you to wed)
Solo na Mutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Tichatire paruzevha (wedding in the rural areas)
Solo naMutsai (Solo and Mutsai)
Vaomesa maGutu (They have left Gutu speechless)

Jonah Moyo in a big reveal on local radio a few years back shared how his all time hit ‘Solo naMutsai’ was written and composed during his friend’s wedding in the 80’s….

Well I happen to be privy to a different version of how “the song” came to be. My mother was born and bred in Gutu, and Solo may he rest in peace was her uncle. Uncle Solomon.

Gutu

Back in the old days, the Devera Ngwena band was fairly popular and would go around having concerts in various cities and towns around the country. “The song” was initially perfomed at several venues in different areas, as a publicity gimmick, to get close to their fans. Beforehand the band would find the names of a dating couple attending the concert and then simply insert the names of the lucky couple into the song and the crowd would go wild…….. neat little trick.

They performed the song at a concert in Mpandawana Gutu where Uncle Solo was in attendance together with his date Mutsai, and some mischievous friend had earlier notified the band that the IT couple were Solo and Mutsai…..

Once the band started singing Solo Na Mutsai you can imagine how the crowd where cheering like crazy. Gutu back then was just a growth point (it now has town status) so band perfomances were quite a big deal and the infectious crowd response to the song probably made the band stick to just calling “the song” Solo and Mutsai at subsequent performances.

Solo and Mutsai broke up soon after that concert, way back, before the song went on to become a hit…….

Imagine that someone sings about you in a song, and now everyone and I mean EVERYONE knows you are dating but you break up but no one ever gets the memo and the song goes on to become a chart topping hit with the band actually going abroad on tour performing “your song”……. That must have totally sucked.

The love story of Solo and Mutsai is not quite the greatest Zimbabwean love story people have been believing and singing about, I am sorry to ruin the childhoods of all the people who sang along to this song wishing they could have that ever after type of love that songs are sung about.

I have always known and I itched to tell people “you no they broke up right?” Now, now you know too…..

Oh yes and Great Zimbabwe University’s creative department released a movie titled Solo Na Mutsai partially based on the song, I havent seen it yet……

~B

Day 25 Africa: Stories From Home

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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