Politics

Mixed Reactions From South Africans as Ladysmith Black Mambazo Set to Collaborate with Jacob Zuma

Former President Jacob Zuma is dropping an album this year, and he plans to feature the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Former President Jacob Zuma announced late last year that he had plans of dropping an album comprising his rendition of some of his favorite struggle songs.


Zuma is perhaps the most charismatic president South Africa has ever had. He has entertained the nation with his impromptu jiving and singing at various gatherings and rallies during his tenure. And so, while it did come as quite a surprise that he announced plans of releasing a whole album, it wasn't exactly what South Africans deemed as being out-of-this-world.

Most recently, however, it was announced that the Grammy-awarded group Ladysmith Black Mambazo would be collaborating with Zuma on his album and that they even offered up their studio to him. This has been seen as a large boost for the former president's plans to break into the music industry.

Boost for Zuma's music careeryoutu.be

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a part of the créme de la créme of South African music. They are a male choral group who sing in the traditional style known as isicathamiya. They have been nominated for 19 Grammys thus far, and have gone on to win five. They have worked with music giants Johnny Clegg, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon and more.

Homeless is perhaps one of their most well-renowned songs. Watch a performance they did of the song a few years back.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless Livewww.youtube.com

However, South Africans have expressed mixed reactions to this recent announcement. While Zuma has insisted that the album is for the preservation of the country's heritage, opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) have challenged the deal struck between Zuma and the local Ethekwini Municipality, citing that taxpayers' money cannot be used to fund Zuma's musical escapades under the guise of cultural preservation.

South Africans took to Twitter to express how they feel about Ladysmith Black Mambazo's plans to collaborate with Zuma. Not everyone is impressed.






Photo: The Sundance Institute

C.J. Obasi On Bringing the Legend of Mami Wata to the Big Screen

The Nigerian director saw a vision of Mami Wata, then made a film that became the toast of Sundance and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

C.J. Obasi’s third feature length film MamiWata has taken Sundance by storm. The mesmerizing fable, which marks the first time a home-grown Nigerian film scores a competition prize at the Sundance Film Festival, delves into the myth of the Mami Wata folklore, a terrifying mermaid goddess popular across West Africa. Obasi’s MamiWata tells a simple enough story of good versus evil, and the importance of maintaining balance while hurtling towards societal change. But Obasi is not your basic filmmaker, and his interpretation of this well-known folklore is a startling cinematic achievement that advances his singular vision.

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Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Listen to Burna Boy Feature On Popcaan's New Song 'Aboboyaa'


Renowned dancehall artist Popcaan has released his album Great Is He, via OVO Sound, and it features none other than Burna Boy.


Jamaica's Popcaanhas shared his anticipated album Great Is He, and the body of work features Nigerian superstar Burna Boy on the track "Aboboyaa."

The album showcases the Jamaican musical giant's signature dancehall sound, while also exploring the depth of genre's versatility. In addition to featuring Burna Boy, Great Is He includes features from OVO Sound's boss Drake, Jamaica's Chronic Law, and Toni-Ann Singh, among others.

On "Aboboyaa," the two musical powerhouses merge their signature rhythmic melodies and intonations in a way that is both compelling to listen to on the first listen, and in turn inspires a second and third listen.

Ever since he released his debut album in 2014, Popcaan has become an international dancehall sensation, and his repertoire includes a list of impressive features.

His album Forever, which was released in 2018, debuted at number two on Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums. Commercially, Popcaan has made a mark on the music scene too. His last project FIXTAPE — which included “Twist & Turn,” the mesmerizing dancehall hit featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR — has garnered over 191 million streams and continues to receive accolades from outlets like Pitchfork, who described the body of work as “a testament to his place at the forefront of the genre.”

"Aboboyaa" is not Popcaan's first international collaboration. In the past, the Jamaican icon has worked with several international music acts including Davido, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Gorillaz, Kano, Jorja Smith and a host of others. He also founded Jamaica’s annual Unruly Festwhich brings stars across the globe to experience Jamaican culture.

Listen to "Aboboyaa" featuring Burna Boy below.

Listen to Popcaan and Burna Boy's "Aboboyaa"

Photo: Nabil Elderkin.

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Popcaan x Burna Boy, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mr Eazi, Baaba Maal, Pheelz and more.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music. If you missed them, check out our music lists for the Best of 2022 here.

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