Friday, October 7, 2022

New book on Dendera music


 Musambo WeDendera, by Biggie Chiranga

Published by EssentialBooks Publishing Co. Norton, Zimbabwe, 2022, pp105

Isbn: 9781779209443 for copies phone: +263786626048

 (A review by Memory Chirere)

This book is a sweet little thing written in easy Shona. It does many crucial things that no other book on Zimbabwean music has ever done. Let me go gradually and haltingly before I forget all the things that I want to say.

This is the first complete book on the history of Dendera music. It is elaborate; beginning with the brothers, Simon and Naison Chimbetu down to the subsequent successor Dendera musicians.  This book is a gift to those who are into the history of music genres. You see here the interconnectedness of the Dendera music genre with other music genres of Zimbabwe, making this one a book about both our sad and happy days as a nation. 

This book is the first one to follow astutely the life of a Zimbabwean musician; beginning with his parents in Tanzania, going into how and why they left Tanzania down to all the sons and daughters they beget and all the grandchildren who continue to come.

This one is the first book to pursue individual Dendera songs, slotting them into clear categories: Love songs, songs about death, songs with bird motifs, songs with animal motifs, songs in Swahili, songs in English, songs in Shona, songs in Ndebele.. on and on… This book is a bank of sorts.

This book goes into the functions and purpose of each of Dendera guitars and how they relate with the lyrics. It also goes into voices. The intricacies!

This is the first book to list the number of awards won by Dendera musicians starting with the founder, Simon Chimbetu to the latter day Dendera chanters.

This is the first book to carry all the pictures of Dendera band leaders and those of their band members.

The technique used by the author is to show how his own life intertwines with Dendera music over the years. Through that he searches for the meaning of Dendera. You may say that this book is Biggie Chiranga’s diary. Chiranga is a renowned Shona poet and educationist who had opportunity to come very-very close to Simon Chimbetu.

But this is not a perfect book. Not at all! It still needs much closer and more active proof reading and a more edifying cover in its second edition. Some of the photographs may need a total recast. There may be need to make an English version of this book as a matter of urgency because this book has to reach a wider audience.

This book answers many of the questions that you may have had on Dendera music and other musical genres of Zimbabwe. I hope that you can also see that I love Dendera music so much.

I wish we could have more other books like this one on Zimbabwean musicians.

Shona version:

Bhuku rino unotove mudyandakasungwa zvawo! Rakanyorwa neShona yakareruka ichitsvedzerera pakuverenga.

Bhuku rino rinoita zvinhu zvandisati ndaona zvichiitwa nechero bhuku zvaro munhooroondo yose yemabhuku emuZimbabwe.

Regai ndidome zvishoma zvacho ndisati ndakanganwa.

Rino iri ndiro bhuku rekutanga kunyorwa pamusoro penhoroondo yemusambo wemumhanzi  weDendera kubva paunotangira naSimon naNaison Chimbetu kusvika pauri nhasi.  Bhuku iri chipo chaicho kuvanhu vanoita zvenhoroondo yemimhanzi. Unoona bhindepinde revanhu veDendera nevamwe vaimbi vakawanda veZimbabwe, mukufara nemukusuwa.

Rino bhuku ndiro bhuku rekutanga kutevedza hupenyu hwemhuri yemuimbi kubva kuna baba naamai vachiri kuTanzania kusvika kuvana, kusvika kuvana vevana vavo- zvichingodaro... Unobva watoona kuti mhuri yekwaChimbetu iri kubva apa ichienda apo, ichienda apo. Kunge rwizi rwuri kuyerera…

Rino ndiro bhuku rekutanga kutevera nziyo dzose dzemusambo weDendera richidziisa muzvikwata. Dzerudo padzo, dzerufu padzo, dzine mhuka neshiri padzo, dzehondo padzo, dzerurimi rweSwahili, Chirungu, Ndebele neShona padzo…zvichingodaro zvichidaro. Kureva kuti bhuku rino ibhangi zvaro.

Bhuku rino rinopinda mumaimbirwo eDendera nehurongwa hwemagitare acho. Ihochekoche.

Rino ndiro bhuku rekutanga kudonongodza mibairo yose yakawanikwa nevaimbi veDendera kubva munguva yaSimon Chimbetu kusvika nhasi.  

Ndiro bhuku rekutanga kutakura mifananidzo yevaimbi vose veDendera zvose nemifananidzo yevanhu vavanoridza navo.

Bhuku rino rinoshandisa chidobi chokutipa nhoroondo yokuti munyori Biggie Chiranga anosangana papi muhupenyu hwake nenziyo dzakasiyana siyana dzeDendera, zvakare nziyo idzi dzinorevei kwaari.

Bhuku iri tingariti dhayari raiye Biggie Chiranga.

Hazvireve kuti bhuku iri harina mhosho dzaro. Pavachaita edition yepiri, ngapagadziriswe zviperengo nemavara akamheyama pano nepapo. Bhuku iri dai raiswa muchirungu kuti risvike nzvimbo dzakawanda.

Ukaverenga bhuku rino uchaona richipindura mibvunzo yako mizhinji pamusoro pemumhanzi weDendera nemimwewo mimhanzi yeZimbabwe. Ndinofunga kuti matoona kuti kana neni ndinoda musambo weDendera. Dai tikawana mamwe mabhuku akadai pamusoro pemhanzi yemuZimbabwe.

Memory Chirere, University of Zimbabwe, 2022

 

9 comments:

  1. Magara munozviita VaChirere, Nzou. Nhanganyaya yenyu, nzwisa paigere ichingopa chodokwadokwa chekudokwairira kwete Dendera yacho yega nemagitare ayo, asiwo kupa rangaridzo yenhoroondo yevaimbi neshungu dzenyika yavo. Marowera mambo SaManyanga.

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  2. Tekinoroji yenyu kuzoba izwi rekuti mbambo randanga ndanyora iyo ndokunyora mambo dii henyu! Ndati marowerera mbambo. Ndini hangu Ruby Magosvongwe Nzou.

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  3. I am not surprised to get such an insightful review from my Lecturerand mentor, Memory Chirere

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  4. Space between Lecturer... Itai Kamutero UZ 2010

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  5. Zvotendwa kupa sungashaya yemhenenguro yebhuku iri. Ndichatotiwo kwaChirere ndiko kwekuhwa useza hwevanyori vazhinji😊

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  6. Ndavekutotadza kugadzikana kusvika ndabata bhuku irori mumaoko angu.

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  7. Thank you so much. This is my favourite band

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  8. At least the book has got many high points and a few low points.

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