Mashayabhuqe KaMamba Reflects On South Africa's Cultural Practices On 'Hallelujah To The Gods'

Mashayabhuqe KaMamba pays his respects to a young fan and reflects on cultural practices in South Africa on "Hallelujah To The Gods."

Mashayabhuqe KaMamba (born Ntsikelelo Christ’ Ndlovu) is the South African musician behind Digital Maskandi, a rising sub-genre that fuses traditional Zulu maskandi folk with electronic, trap-influenced sounds and vocals.

On "Hallelujah To The Gods," the Johannesburg-based artist pays his respects to a young fan who died at an initiation school in the Eastern Cape shortly after writing him a message saying how excited he was to begin the traditional Xhosa rite of passage to become a man.

"He basically told me how much he’d love to come up to Joburg and see one of my shows," Mashayabhuqe said in an email to Okayafrica. "But the conversations were irrelevant until he saw my tweets about how saddening it is to see news headlines on this matter (The boys not coming back from initiation school). That’s when he started telling me about what he was about to go through and how excited he was about becoming a man... Unfortunately, the boy who messaged me passed away. Later I read in the newspaper about the many other boys who didn't return from the initiation schools."

Mashayabhuqe tells us the boy's death inspired him to write a record on cultural practices. "This topic, though controversial, is important," the artist says. "The young man's message gave me strength to talk about things that, despite how touchy they are, are important." In an email to Okayafrica, the artist elaborated on the song's message:

"This was directed to the kids in urban areas who still want to learn about their cultures, why? Because they are not exposed to as much culture as others, and we cannot blame them for not knowing all that much about where they are from. I believe that parents should find traditional ways for children to connect to culture in the modern age. My whole thing has been about understanding what defines me as a Zulu man. How do I introduce my newborn child to my family and ancestors? There is no template or study-guide with all this information. Sometimes the best way is to just ask the elders and pass it on to the next generation so that we don’t lose the essence of our traditions."

Produced by Mashayabhuqe's Black Excellence Show collaborator MarazA, the track tells the stories of two young South African boys. On the first verse, "the song takes you on a journey of a young boy who is being teased at school for not being a man," Mashayabhuqe says. "He has not gone to initiation school. He longs to go to the 'mountains' but he had recently read about all the boys who have not returned from the ceremonies due to infections and other related circumstances." The second verse, he says, talks about "a young boy who never became a man, paralleled with a man who is struggling to keep peace in his relationship regardless of the love felt."

Listen to "Hallelujah To The Gods" below, and download the track here. Look for Mashayabhuqe KaMamba's Okmalumkoolkat-featuring “Shandarabaa Ekhelemendeh" video to drop soon.

Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video)

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