Artiste commercialises Mbende-Jerusarema

HARARE - Murewa-based cultural group, Arts Laboratory Band, made their maiden public performance in Harare last week courtesy of City Sports Bar’s weekly event, jam session.

Although the Mbende-Jerusarema group led by Rishon Murandu was formed 10 years ago in Murewa, they were struggling to get a promoter.

Murandu is credited for pioneering the fusion of electric guitar to traditional Mbende-Jerusarema songs.

“I was inspired by Botswana cultural musical group Culture Spears who have commercialised their culture through putting it on CDs and videos, hence protecting their heritage.

“However, ours is a different case in sense that we are operating at a zero budget hence financial challenges are pulling us down, though we are trying hard,” Murandu said after giving a remarkable performance.

At the Harare joint, the group thrilled fans with their unique sound while displaying energy-sapping dances.

Arts Laboratory Band has three studio albums under their belt: Mbende-Jerusarema, Yarira Mhere and Tsika Dzekwedu.

“It took us three years to record the first album because of financial problems but the response we got from fans was enough to keep us going.

“It is our wish to have a sponsor or a promoter such that we realise our dream of preserving mbende-jerusarema culture,” the-30-year-old-artiste said.

The Arts Laboratory Band front man is longing for a chance to share the stage with musicians such as Jah Prayzah and Andy Muridzo who hail from their home area.

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