Ditswi shed light on music
Fast rising Afro Jazz band – Ditswi intends to represent a cultural diversity in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe as a whole.
The 5 member band which was formed in 2013 is currently performing in hotels and local joints in Bulawayo. Ditswi is working on a debut album titled ‘Lwendo’ translated as Journey. The album is based on a journey the band is experiencing musically.
The band comprise of young and vibrant members from a multiplicity of Zimbabwe’s ethnic groups. The members include Lennon Tauro, on bass, recorder and pan flute, Blessing Sikhosana on keyboards and percussion, Ray ‘Millagre’ Langa on drums, Peter Chintedza on first keys, and Patience Tauro on lead vocals and ‘Hosho’.
“The name of the band is called Ditswi. The band name is coined from the Chopi term meaning, the voice. Chopi is actually a dialect spoken in the Southern part of Mozambique. The type of music that the group plays is Afro fusion jazz”, Ray said.
Ditswi focuses on a number of thematic areas that encompass social life with a focal point on rights of varied vulnerable groups like women, children, and people with disability, the elderly and migrants.
The band fuses a multiplicity of genres which include Zimbabwe’s traditional jit, marrabenta feel from Mozambique, reggae, samba, and elements of mbalax and rhumba. It also fuses instruments like guitars, keyboards, marimba, flute and percussion.
Ditswi’s ethnic diversity is evident in the languages it uses in its music. The band makes use of languages like Chopi, Shona, Ndebele, Nyanja, Nambya, Kalanga, Shangaan, English, and Bemba. The band says it will advance to other languages spoken in Africa and the world as a whole in the near future.
Social issues like love and unity of purpose are also addressed by the band. The group also uses idiomatic expressions in the music so as to bring out clear messages.
“Ditswi uses a form of musical arrangement known as ‘Rubato’ characterised by changes in tempo and rhythm. For us music is more of a vocation, we aspire to be the voice of the voiceless by using music as an advocacy tool”, Patience said.
In this analogy Ditswi seeks to provide edutainment, that is educative entertainment.
Article by Grant Moyo Twitter: @TotemGrant