Sam Mtukudzi’s career started off with him touring with his father, the great Oliver Mtukudzi a few years back. That was indeed the beginning of a new dawn for an artist who is set to break through as one of the most promising musicians in Zimbabwe right now. Under the guidance and nurturing of his superstar father, Sam is indeed ready to be his own man. Rume Rimwe (released in December 2007) took the young man a good 2 years to put together and it’s well worth the time.
This is Sam Mtukudzi’s debut album which holds the song Chii Chanetsa that has become a very popular hit making the charts on PowerFM in 2008. On this track he engages in social commentary concerning domestic violence as seen by the children affected. It is a very in-depth view at the ills of a marriage gone wrong where all the possibilities point at a divorce but the children do not want to entertain the thought. Evidently, everyone is unhappy and all they can do is watch as it happens. This is a song that can evoke emotion within you because of the very reality it besets upon. Amai focuses on a mothers love and Sam is seemingly thanking his mother for her presence in his life (maybe because his dad was on the road half the time? lol). It is a beautiful song about appreciation and should serve to teach us all to appreciate not only parents but everyone who plays a significant role in our lives.
The musical style on this album can be described as jazz with a mixture of Tuku music to spice it up. Tibatane is my favourite song on this album (listen to the XBC podcasts and you will find evidence of that!). It is a jazzy love song where the emphasis is on becoming one. Sam praises his partner calling her ‘chisikwa chaMwari’ (God’s beautiful creation). This is as good as a love song gets and it took me back to the love of old. The instrumentation was simply phenominal and the backing vocalists set a bar that you do not hear too often these days, not only on this song but throughout the album. It reminds me that young musicians can also make such great music (but then again this is Oliver Mtukudzi’s son i didn’t expect any less!). Songs like Why Can’t We, Ngwara and Mazuva Mangani (which is somewhat the title track relating to the Shona proverb ‘Rume rimwe harikombi churu’) are littered with advice on life. Besides the good music, there are strong messages contained within these songs that are reminiscent of olden day folklore.
It is without a single doubt that Sam Mtukudzi’s music is miles ahead of his age and don’t let his youth deceive you, this is a brilliant album. His lyrical prowess herein lies within a poetic approach and there is an undeniable connection with Oliver’s influence here. There is such wisdom in his words you will not believe he is only 20 years old. It is no surprise that his music appeals across many generations and i hear Sam is a brilliant live performer as well. Every song is very well done and you can listen from start to finish without even considering skipping a track. This is highly recommended for everyone out there especially those who like Africa Revenge, Dudu Manhenga, Oliver Mtukudzi, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai and Chiwoniso to name a few.
Get the album here: http://www.oneworld.co.za/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=1_49&products_id=3985
Cover Art – 6/10
Music – 7.5/10
Technical Sound – 8/10
‘I Like Factor’ – 7/10