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Zimbabwean Musician Willis Mataffi Goes Solo


In Zimbabwe, musician Willis Wataffi has released his solo debut CD called "Zhizha: A Time to Sow". Wataffi is a former member of the musical duo "Afrika Revenge", which is best known for its hit 'Wanga.' From Harare, Derek Moyo has more on the new 11-track album.

Over the past year, there have been rumours that Afrika Revenge split up. It was alleged Willis and his colleague, Mehluli Moyo, weren't on speaking terms for various reasons... including quarrelling over women.

Wataffi has confirmed Afrika Revenge is no more. But he insists the split wasn't as confrontational or as scandalous as suggested by media reports...

"It's a break," he said, "but it wasn’t a break where people assume we are not talking. We hang out and even do weddings together."

While Wataffi says all's well, recent events suggest the contrary.

Last month Wataffi organised a press conference, announcing the launch of his solo album. He sent an invite to his former band member, Mehluli Moyo who failed to show up.

Wataffi says the title of his new CD hints at fresh starts, by sowing new seed. It's not clear whether this pertains to his relationship with Moyo.

"This is a time to sow -- that's the whole concept of this album," he said. "We are saying the rain will fall on everyone’s land, but harvests are different. Why is it ? Because some chose to wake up in the morning to till the fields while some are sleeping."

The opening track on the new album is called Arumwa; it features female vocalist Tererai Mugwadi. But it also has the unmistakable sound of his group, Afrika Revenge. It's a fusion of African rhythms that's been described as Afro-Jazz laced with Shona lyrics, particularly the Kore-Kore dialect.

Wataffi calls his music "Qaya", which is the same genre he produced while he was a member with the duo. Among the songs on the album are Chura, Kanyemere, Vukani vukani, Ma'brake and The Love.

The performer says it took 2 years to produce the CD. He hopes to follow its release with live performances, soon.

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