HARARE – Rising afro-fusion star Victor Kunonga says producing the upcoming joint album by African musicians Hugh “Bra Hugh” Masekela and Oliver Mtukudzi “will be the stuff of dreams.”
Kunonga, who is hogging the limelight with his latest 12-track album called Kwedu, will produce the yet-to-be-named collaboration by the two music greats set to be released next year.
“It is a big endorsement. It shows that there people out there who are appreciating what you are doing; not just ordinary people but two of the biggest names in African music.
“I was very surprised, I should admit, when they approached me because they are music icons. It is a very big and rare opportunity for me to work with two exceptional artistes,” he told the Daily News.
Kunonga is convinced that Bra Hugh and Tuku chose him as producer after being impressed by his latest album.
“Kwedu is opening doors for me. Hearing a music legend like Bra Hugh describe your music as authentic African rhythms is the biggest endorsement one can ever hope for,” said the Wedza-born artiste.
According to Kunonga, work on the Tuku-Bra Hugh collaboration will begin as soon as he finishes producing an album by an all-female Zimbabwean group called Shai Shai made up of Rumbidzai Tavaziwa, Prudence Katomeni Mbofana, Benita Tarupiwa and Joyce Warikandwa
“I am producing the Shai Shai album which also features mudhara Tuku and Bra Hugh as guest musicians. The album is now at the mixing and mastering stage. Once I finish the Shai Shai album I will begin work on the Tuku-Bra Hugh project hopefully this coming month,’ said Kunonga.
Walter Wanyanya, who manages Kunonga, told the Daily News that the forthcoming album by Tuku and Masekela was part of efforts by the two music legends to showcase the rich and sometimes misunderstood and neglected part of Zimbabwean music heritage.
“Masekela has visited Zimbabwe many times working with Ngomanehosho, an arts development organisation that I lead. Shai Shai, for example, is as a result of the partnership between Semopa, a South African music company led by Bra Hugh Masekela and Ngomanehosho.
“Shai Shai is a result of our vision to have a group of ladies that sing and play traditional Zimbabwean music,” said Wanyanya.