Technology is making it possible for young people in Zimbabwe to multitask and have hobbies or income-generating projects outside formal or informal employment.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The multi-task might generate a little money or give a bit of fame to a young person previously unknown by the general public.
One easier form of post-work or post-career activity is in the area of music.
A cappella music is easier to produce and record with minimal technological requirements and skill.
A Bulawayo group Men of Influence (formed in 2010) consisting of eight young people – Mlindeli Moyo (leader soprano) Mthandazo Nyoni (alto), Justice Thandi (tenor), Polite Ntini, Wishes Madondo, Desmond Tshele, Rodney, Obvious Ncube (bass) – has used a cappella-cum-isicathamiya-cum-mbube music as means of growing singing talent and using weekends productively.
They mellow their voices in a blend of melodious crooning and yodeling as well as the typical Southern African music genre preference that has in the past been advanced by Ladysmith Black Mambazo of South Africa and related groups from the sub-continent.
Black Umfolosi, UGodlwayo Omnyama, Mpumelelo Shining Stars, Bulawayo groups – have in the past followed the trail blazed by Black Mambazo and influence new talent that sings at weddings (given token payments, the group does not want to make money yet), parties – birthday and wedding anniversaries.
The group doubles up as church choir on Sundays – sometimes singing for the sake of and growing melodious unity.
They have performed in competitions against established groups (Siyaya, Iwisa and Great Stars) as they did in the Bulawayo Celebrating 120 Years small competition at the Large City Hall.
The group has serviced conventions like the 2014 to 2015 national religious convention.
The group aims at spreading the Word of God through music.
Its vision is to deliver the message of the almighty God through melodious voices,Nyoni told the Southern Eye Lifestyle that music has always been part of any society.
“Most activities in an African environment are conducted with and sometimes through music.
It is easy to move a person to tears or anger, or any discernible emotion through music.
Good music is like wine warming its way through the veins of a sensitive drinker.
It uplifts the soul and links a being with powerful and moving emotions,” Nyoni said.
Nyoni, a journalist, doubles as a singer with Men of Influence a multi-suburban group that has taken a cappella to another level.
The group uses New Lobengula Brethren in Christ church premises for practice on Saturdays, Sundays for three hours a day.
“Plans are under way to launch a first album probably in 2017, but funds have always remained elusive.
We need promoters, sponsors, a partner to assist us in the spreading of God’s Word,’’ Nyoni said.
A scribe cannot be limited just to journalism.