Of mothers, acapella music

LONDON - Mother's Day celebrates mothers and motherhood and acknowledges the influence of women in society. It is one of the noblest annual celebrations observed in the world.

The fact that Mothers’ Day is embraced by every rational human entity and celebrated in almost all parts of the world, demonstrates the incomparable pricelessness of women in society.

Even the dumbest and most idiotic folk who ridiculously accuse their mothers of being witches and the cause of all their misfortunes cannot deny the sacrifices made by mothers.

This week, I have been reflecting on my personal relationship with my mother. I was raised by two women (my grandmother and mother) who throughout the course of their lives served others.

While my grandmother is late, my mother continues to influence some of my decisions and most definitely the decision to expand this column from just talking about fashion to making it a home for all ‘’Unsung 263 heroes’’.

My mother, who is of course my biggest fan, recently sent me a text endorsing the new direction of the column, stating that “My efforts to empower other young people were admirable!’’.

When mother says that, nothing else matters!

In the last few months, I have met many inspiring people, and the pleasure of being able to bring their group or individual stories to light is personally life-changing.

Zimbabweans across the world are doing incredible things and having the power to give those who go unnoticed a platform to be heard is a dream come true. This stage gives me the chance to bring forth new faces to the fore.

This week, I will dwell on one of my great passions--acapella music.

This obviously stems from the fact that my husband Simba Nyawiri is one of the founding members of Shower Power.

Back in the day, Simba was known as ‘’bass man’’, a title he still carries to date. There was always an atmosphere of ‘’shock’’ in the room whenever Shower Power performed because their sound mirrored that of the popular Boyz II Men.

I remember the first time I set eyes on the group. I got very excited not only because of the good looks of ‘’ONE’’’ of the members (I am biased yes), but the guys were so refreshing and presented the potential of an exciting new era in Zimbabwean music.

Two decades later, I have been presented with many Zimbabwean groups following the steps of the original Shower Power.

I love the message in acapella. I love the voices that become instruments and the purity of the genre, which says ‘’We can sing not only with our voices but with our souls too.”

Recently, I came across an acapella group called M.I.S.S.I.O.N based in Canada whose members are from Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the DRC.

I fell in love with them instantly as the group presents a unique diversity of culture and language. Armed with only their voices, M.I.S.S.I.O.N began with a vision to reach out to the disadvantaged children in Africa back in 2007.

Their aim was to “minister in song, to save and inspire others in need’’. Methuselah Maphosa, Brian Maponga, Minnie Khumalo, Melissa Nyoni and Mathew Christian Kashila all grew up in the Adventist Church where “they had no choice but to sing with only their voices.”

Their love for the old style gospel music is clearly reflected in their new Album Dala. I am particularly annoyed with myself that I didn’t know about these guys until recently, and I am determined to go back and listen to the music they have produced since 2007.

Dala which literally means ‘’the past’’ is just gorgeous to listen to.

The whole album which is now available on itunes is a great offering that showcases many different styles. It is slow solemn acapella with an African contemporary touch. It is like a therapy session.

While I swim in the sweetness of this sound, I am quickly brought back to the reality of a country which has raised many talented artistes now scattered in many foreign lands. The West continues to benefit from the sweat of our mothers.

True, some of Zimbabwe’s children will never return home. But for those with the power to influence and make policies, what should be done to integrate “he Diaspora children” back into Zimbabwe’s arts industry?

The fact is, I am Zimbabwean, We are Zimbabwean, and that will never change.

Happy Mothers’ Day to all Zimbabwean women. We love and cherish you.

*Pamela is a Zimbabwean fashion journalist and fashion accessory designer based in the United Kingdom. She can be contacted on pamsamasuwo@live.co.uk

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