Bhila’s Iphephandaba album review

Langalakhe Mabena
A star is born in Bulawayo!
His name is Bhila, an Afro Soul muso who presents himself with a sound that combines traditional African elements with soulful melodies and harmonies.

His music can be described as a great healer, it soothes any weary life with one touch and thaws a mind from its endless wintering.

So far this year from the city of Kings, Bhila (real name Patriarch Manyabi)’s project titled Iphephandaba can be said to be a literature of the passion that tells enchanting poetic stories, brings peace, banishing one’s perplexities while smothering the listener’s furies.

Indeed, the news (Iphephandaba) has been delivered, and many, if they lend an ear to this piece of work, will learn more about life, its sweetness, bitterness, the importance of love as well as its flaws.

Before discussing the contents of the project, a throwback on Bhila’s life is vital. It prepares one to fully understand his prowess of music writing and what inspires his craft.

Bhila was born on 6 April 1995 in Gwanda. He grew up in Entumbane in Bulawayo and attended primary school at Mthombowesizwe.

“I started music at the age of nine. I remember I was part of the junior choir at my place of worship in Guta Ra Mwari (GRM). I did my high school studies at Mpopoma High and Sobukhazi High. In both schools, I was an active member of the school choir and theatre clubs.

“When I came of age after finishing my tertiary education at the Midlands State University (MSU) graduating with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Local Governance Studies, I then became a member of a group called Amaculo Enjabulo from church (GRM).

“The group helped me to discover some elements that I never knew I was capable of doing which includes song writing. Being part of this group strengthened my vocals and taught me a lot of music techniques and confidence,” said Bhila.

In preparation for being a mature professional musician, Bhila would be a ghost writer for a number of local creatives in the Hip Hop and Afro Pop scene, and sometimes be a backing vocalist.

Such experience has helped the muso who describes himself as a street story teller, to be observant of situations he encounters in life and be able to put it into writing and create good music.

B-Metro Showbiz made an appreciation of Iphephandaba and reviewed each song on the album which was produced by Godwin Smalls, Nateoktopus and Sixteen.

Also on the album Bhila worked with up-and-coming artistes including Mduduzi Sibanda, Lewanika, Sixteen, Siba, Liege and Tshaka.

The song is inspired by an old folktale story that Bhila used to hear from his grandmother “uGogo umaNdlovu.” Imbila is a cry to all youths that they should respect, honour their parents and always ask for guidance so that they don’t go astray. The song further teaches that there is a lot of knowledge that elders have but for one to have access to it, you ought to ask them kindly and remain humble.

The song simply highlights the dangers of being a womaniser. It (being a womaniser) destroys families and it comes with a number of consequences that include illness, death, spiritual ills, bad luck and so on.

Yekelani seeks to guide those who are in love to do a quick check on whether they are surely dating because they want it or it’s just pressure from parents and society.  The song emphasises that if you do it (dating) to please others, you will commit to an unhappy marriage.

The song speaks about a father who went to South Africa in search of greener pastures and never came back home. The song seeks to let all those who left their families and never came back to remember that they are remembered and if possible, they should go back to their families for they need them.

What is an album without a love song? Ngiyatshela is a story of a guy approaching a lady and expressing how he feels. Love is good all the time, if you can find one to love, go for it.

A motivational song to all those who are suffering from procrastination to wake up, eliminate the fear of chasing their dreams. They should stop seeking validation, and go for what they want.

Mama Lo Baba
In most African families we hardly say, “thank you mom, for what you have done.” The song is an appreciation piece to parents who are showing love and support to their children in the tough economy.

This is a Prayer song; where one asks God to give them patience to wait for success. It encourages one to work and pray for their dreams to come through. God blesses us in different times.

Lala Ngoxolo – Rest In Peace
This is a song that consoles all those who are missing their loved ones.
Album rating ? ? ? ? – Awesome. Unique and resonant. Among the best records of the year.

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