Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje – Makoti Wakena

• “Makoti Wakena” set to a picture of the housing album label. Thanks to thumbsuckinggargoyle.

8.7 “Excellent Africana from South Africa”

From their album “Makoti Wakena” (Umjondolo ‎LJD-31), released in 1980.

A wedding celebration is afoot on the glorious title-track of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje’s long player from 1980. This should brighten up your Monday and no mistake!

As ever, Nick Lotay from Electric Jive gives some great background:

With many thanks to fellow collector Laurent Dalmasso, Electric Jive today shares another album of wonderful female vocal mbaqanga courtesy of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje. Makoti Wakena, produced by Hamilton Nzimande and released on the Umjondolo label, features ten powerful songs originally released on 45rpm format in 1980. The album was issued at the same time as Unina Kavusi, also by the same group (under a different alias) and previously shared by us here. As with that album, Makoti Wakena features some of the finest mbaqanga rhythms of the era, no mean feat when you consider most of the other groups of the day had shifted focus more towards the burgeoning disco sound. Of course the archetypal organ and disco drums are present here, but they both sit beautifully alongside two jangly guitars, plucky bass, occasional bursts of male soul vocals and the trademark Isibaya Esikhulu saxophones. Most of the lead vocals are handled by the iconic Hilda Tloubatla alongside the other maidens of the group during this period: Jane Dlamini, Julia Mangqu, Lindiwe Mthembu and Nobesuthu Shawe. I must single out my favourite tracks – “Bantshepisa Lenyalo”, “Bomma Ditaba”, “Mpho” and “Menate Ya Lefatshe” – but in all honesty I don’t believe any of the ten numbers are worth skipping over. Thanks again to Laurent for allowing us to share this one with you!

Why not get yourself over there and download a free copy for yourself?

You can check my favoured album reviews from 1980 here.


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