Thursday 17 January 2013

Usizwe Namatshitshi: Yithi Sifikile (1971)

On hearing the opening bars of the first track you will be forgiven for thinking that this was recorded at the wrong speed. And just as you sit back, realising that this is how it is meant to sound, you might  find your feet saying, 'hey, we want to move to this slowed-up, elastic and catchy mbaqanga beat'.

Another good way to start off the new year from an album that justifies its title of Yithi Sifikile:  "We say we have arrived". The first track "Ufikile Unyaka Omusha" literally means "A new year has begun". "Usizwe Namatshitshi" translates approximately to "even the young girls heard us" - 'itshitshi' meaning adolescent girl.

In a previous post of another slightly earlier 1971 recording of this same band here, Nick is spot-on in describing the music as a blend of traditional and mbaqanga. Today's album perhaps veers just a little more towards mbaqanga, still with the popular mix of male groaner and female vocal group.
Musical Director: H. Vala Nzimande
I encourage you to read Nick Lotay's background on this band and the rivalry between Hamilton Vala Nzimande's Isibaya Esikhulu Music and Rupert Bopape's Mavuthela Music here. As with the previous record, most compositions are Nzimande's, there are also tracks credited to Absolom Mkhwanazi and Albert Motha, who both became the core of the band Amaswazi Emvelo. The lead female singer Busi Dlamini also contributes two tracks.
Male vocal: Sizwe Mkhwanazi
Female vocal: Busisiwe Dlamini; Dudu Hlophe; Sarah Gwebu; Johannah Mdlalose.
There are five women featured on the record cover, but only four are credited on the back-cover.

The band (Amataitai):
Mntima Dube - Lead Guitar;
Thomas Motshwane - Rhythm Guitar;
Lameck Moloi - Bass;
Dan Van Wyk - Drums

Usizwe Namatshitshi: Yithi Sifikile

CBS LAB.4029

1. Ufikile Unyaka Omusha (Nzimande) - 'A New Year Has Started';
2. Sihamba Nonana Chiliza (Nzimande) - 'We are going with Nana Chiliza'
3. Yithi Sibaphethe (Absolom Mkhwanazi) - 'We say we have got them'
4. Thatha Ezakho (Albert Motha) - 'Take your things (and go)'
5. Baythalaza Abantu (Nzimande) - 'The people are waving'
6. Ungamthembi Umuntu (Nzimande) - 'Don't trust people'
7. Amandla Endoda Awapheli (Busi Dlamini) - 'That man cannot be brought down, his energy or power is endless'
8. Lishonile Ngofika Nini (Busi Dlamini) - A question that is asked by a traveller about travel time: will I make it there by sunset?
9. Sithunyiwe Bakithi (Nzimande) - 'We sent'
10. Siyobohla Manyosi (Nzimande) - an idiom which effectively means that harm you did to me will come back to you. What goes around comes around.
Rapidshare: here
Zippyshare: here


  1. Wow! Marvelous playing on this, and the recording quality is better than most! The interweaving guitars are a joy to hear!

  2. Thanks Slidewell, I agree with your assessment.

  3. I loved this album... but i lost it in a computer crash... is there a way to get the files again ? It means so much to me now...

  4. Can the file be re-uploaded? Cant find it anywhere else...

  5. Can the file be re-uploaded? Cant find it anywhere else...


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