Monday, 17 August 2009

Ilanga Visions Foretold - Zimbabwe

A quick step across the border to Zimbabwe for a quick post. Ilanga burned bright for three years, during which they played at the 1988 Harare Human Rights concert which also featured Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’Dour and the Bhundu Boys.

Ilanga's blend of Shona, Ndebele and Western sounds was very popular in Zimbabwe – lots of keyboards and a strong bassline. “Visions Foretold” (1987) was their first album and quickly led to favourable comparisons with South Africa’s Ray Phiri and Stimela – another hybrid of traditional and jazz.

While Ray Phiri had to 'whisper in the deep' at the time, Ilanga could defy apartheid South Africa openly; as in the track "Botha" .. 'Botha, what you gonna do when Azania is free ... you just have to jump into the sea ... time is running out for you ... where you gonna run, where you gonna hide ...".

Ilanga produced two albums before splitting up. A greatest hits CD was released, but is nigh impossible to find new.

Recorded at the Frontline Studios. Produced by T. Mabaleka.
Andy Brown (guitar, vocals)
Busi Ncube (vocals, percussion)
Don Gumbo (bass, vocals)
Keith Farquharson (keyboards)
Gibson Nyoni (drums)
Charles Mangena (backing vocals)

UPDATED LINK (July 2015)


  1. Thank you for this great blog with this fantastic so hard to find (if ever possible) music. It is one of the most interesting blogs! The Greatest Hits CD of Ilanga is available at example at
    It came out in 2000, but is unfortunately a "greatest hits" CD and not a vinyl of yesterday, which I prefer of course...

  2. Great stuff...thanks for sharing. I, (together with Dance Afrika Jazz Band) played with Gibson Nyoni (Drummer) in Gaborone in 2005-2006 before he went to Europe.


  3. Thanks Kabo - This Ilanga posting has been popular. I will make a plan sometime to post Ilanga's Silver and Gold Album as well. Best wishes

  4. Was wondering if it was possible by any chance to re-up this album...
    thanks in advance with this gem of a blog.
    keep on keeping

    1. Sure - I will make a plan in the next day or so to re-up - please check back

  5. Thanks a million Chris. That's why I always say, "electric jive is memories and memories is electric jive".


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