My name is Mumba Yachi. I am an artist musician and have been doing music for over 20 years now. I play guitar, write songs and sing. I was glad to be Modzi Arts’ participating artist in the Sound of Ubuntu collaboration project that Modzi had with Moto Republik of Zimbabwe. I got to work with Monkey Nuts, a contemporary Zimbabwean music band.
I loved the project theme of Ubuntu. I understand Ubuntu to be the African spirit of togetherness in social life and humanism. In African culture and tradition, we believe that someone’s child in a village is a child of the village. Therefore, this means that I cannot let my neighbour’s children suffer. If or when I see them in trouble, I help them like they are my own. That is ubuntu. I believe that Ubuntu is a gift we have as Africans from God, to look up to and take care of each other as one. And so, I was really excited about the project, because it brought out ubuntu in itself. We were coming together to share in the commonality of our cultural heritage through a universal language called music. This project shows to me that actually there are no boarders.
We spent 3 weeks exchanging ideas, sampling music of the 70’s from both countries and experimenting on how we could blend it with what we know and do now. Participating in the project left me with great new knowledge in my art. For example, it was for the first time that I got to see and understand how sampling is done- something I had always heard of but never actually experienced. The biggest take away musically was expanding my knowledge of Zimbabwean music from the 70’s. I learnt of how Zimbabwean musicians of that era were quite experimental. They played with sounds from as far as Cuba, America and England and fused all such influence with the Zimbabwean sound element. It was nice also to interrogate and share with my Zimbabwean counterparts on Paul Ngozi’s music. Ngozi is a key figure in understanding Zambian music of the 70s. Ngozi’s music was music of the people, depicting what happens in everyday society. His style was mostly rock fusion with Zambian Kalindula. His live band component made his music timeless as it lives on several years after his death. They say “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” Paul Ngozi spoke of the people and that is why he is the legend he is.
I feel humbled and blessed to work with Modzi on this project. It was both informative and fun.