By Dickson Jere

Over a decade ago – Angela Nyirenda – a then little known musician released a hit song called Ndina. It was a combination of Ngoni songs known as “Ngoma”. It was the first time that such songs were nicely mixed and played with modern instruments as opposed to the traditional way of stomping the ground and clapping. And so, as expected, the song caused some controversy.

“Ataya mwambo mwana” they said, meaning that she had messed up the sacred Ngoni traditions by producing such music in that manner.

The conservative traditional elders were livid. Others wanted her punished (paying cows) for mutilating “mwambo” and Ngoni culture. But the younger ones were happy and loved the tunes. It was the hottest topic then!
I remember, as new members of the Ncwala Committee then – we were caught up in the flare. Can you invite Angela to the Ncwala fundraisers given the controversy?

But with the reformist King at the helm – Ngwenyama Mpezeni IV – the issue died slowly and her music became part of the Ncwala events. The tunes also spread to other functions such as kitchen parties and weddings and beyond the Ngonis. The songs now play out both in Zambia and abroad across tribes.

More similar tunes came on board with the then Sakala Brothers in tow. The duet became fixtures at Ncwala fundraisers. The tunes became accepted with the passage of time. And the Ngoni culture and traditions spread by way of music…
Indeed culture is dynamic and ought to change with time!

So, on Saturday 10th February, 2024, our songbird Angela Nyirenda was honored by the Ngoni king for her role in the promotion of Ngoni culture. She certainly deserved the accolades and honour given to her. She has promoted Ncwala and Ngoni culture consistently for over a decade.

Congratulations girl!

NB: Late Levi Sakala of the Sakala Brothers duet was also honored posthumously by Mpezeni IV for his role in the promotion of Ngoni culture through music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *