Friday, June 25, 2021

Bongo Maffin: The second coming

Many will remember the new millennium (the year 2000) for the Y2K world-is coming-to-an-end saga.
Yet it also brought the fresh new sounds of the multi-award winning kwaito and Afro pop group, Bongo Maffin, which seemed unable to do any wrong, releasing one hit after another.

After an eight-year hiatus, this group of four will grace Botswana soils at the Mascom live sessions slated for May 9. Batswana will be treated to this reunion which provides an interesting blend of different styles by all four vocalists.

Could this reunion mean another great album in the near future? We can only cross our fingers.
Boasting two South African Music Awards (SAMAs), two Metro Awards, two Kora Awards, BBC World music awards nomination, and having many of their songs as wedding anthems here in Botswana, they have become a household name.
This foursome covered the lengths and breadths of the continent and beyond offering hits like Kungakhona (The Way), That’isghubu, Mari Ye Phepa and an interesting rendition of The Eagles’ rock and roll song, ‘Hotel California’.

They were also branded as the international Ambassadors of Kwaito music, a post-apartheid South African bred genre which set dance floors on fire in countries like England, Denmark and France.
Lead singer and the “Belle of the Ball” Thandiswa Mazwai does a lot of vocals strongly influenced by her Xhosa background. Also known as Red, Thandiswa started as a backup vocalist for many and has since released two successful solo albums.

Producer Oscar Appleseed, born in Zimbabwe, brings an element of reggae and dancehall to their sound. Then there is Stoan from Mafhikeng, who comes with the hip hop flavour, done in Tswana, popularly known as “Motswako.” Stoan has gone on to launch a successful acting career, landing parts in local soaps and dramas.

Any band will be incomplete without a cheesy handsome singer, a role played by R n B singer Speedy who also had a solo singing career since the breakup of the group.

Performing alongside Bongo Maffin is local controversial hip hop star ATI, a lively artist with an interesting choice of lyrics and stage antics. This young artist has wowed crowds locally and beyond the borders and never fails to deliver. He will certainly be able to keep up with the more seasoned performers.

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