Black Umfolosi set for Canada tour

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SINCE maiden European and world tour in Glasgow, Scotland in 1990, scathamiya group Black Umfolosi has wowed crowds with their stagecraft.

The group has risen to international success spiced up with local performances to regain their energies.

“It all started in Glasgow at the May Fest, an annual city-wide festival of popular theatre and music featuring performers from around the world,” group member Sotsha Moyo told Southern Eye Lifestyle.

“The organisers of the festival were responsible for touring groups and for that particular year they wanted groups from Southern Africa to participate.

“We were lucky to be identified and we got the opportunity to perform in most parts of the United Kingdom. From then on we networked and got contacts. We have been invited time and again. Black Umfolosi has performed on all continents except in South America.”

The self-taught scathamiya, a cappella or imbube group has been called for yet another month-long Canadian tour from June to July.

“We desire to lend a hand to many upcoming artistes so that they could experience our accomplishments in touring.''

The group is currently at in Emakhandeni rehearsing for the tour and training a new recruit Thethelela Moyo, who they are planning to tour with.

The ensemble was recently in the studio working with former urban grooves musician S’khulukelile Mpofu, who now sings Afro-jazz gospel, on a single titled Sithethelele Baba.

“We desire to lend a hand to many upcoming artistes so that they could experience our accomplishments in touring. We have spotted groups such as acappella group Family Voices. We wish to help such groups to tour in future if the opportunity arises,” Moyo said.

“The challenge we have faced over the years is that Zimbabweans don’t support local music. We have been dominated by South African music so much that one would prefer to save money for the annual December Kalawa Jazmee gig and not support groups like us that are a well-travelled.

“What we do not realise is that South Africans support their own music, therefore enriching their music industry. In Zimbabwe if you are a good musician, it is hard to penetrate the market hence it is embedded in our people’s minds that South African and Western music is the best.

“I have seen a change in Harare. I say thumbs up to Harare people who are now supporting their own music such as Zim Dancehall. People should start appreciating the arts. If you go to a soccer match, all you hear is music; on your television set it’s mostly music you listen to,” he added.

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