Afrika Mamas - Iphupho

Published Friday 2nd March 2018
Afrika Mamas - Iphupho
Afrika Mamas - Iphupho

STYLE: World
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168564-26460
RELEASE DATE: 2018-02-23

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

For their fourth album of indigenously sung acappella songs, South African all female vocal group Afrika Mamas fulfilled a dream by recording at United Rhythm Studio. The Durban-based studio happens to be owned by the son of Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo fame - an act that inspired the Mamas to form in the first place and an obvious influence to this day. The title track (translated as "The Dream Song" and written by group leader Ntombi Lushaba) tells of the six-piece's world-conquering achievements. Set to the backdrop of expertly executed South African rhythms and melodies, much of this release centres in on the plight of women in a male-dominated environment with tracks like "Itshe" and the deceptively-breezy "Ulwabishi" telling of wrongs that men have done to women whilst "Imbokodo" puts the point across that mothers have a rock-like strength. Elsewhere, deep topics like rural poverty and witchcraft are dealt with in "Lapha KwaZulu" and "Ispoki" respectively whilst a heartfelt tribute to Nelson Mandela in "Tata Madiba" keeps everything in perspective. Perhaps less musically diverse than their genre-hopping 2016 eponymous release, this nonetheless once again showcases the group's ability to more than hold their own in a predominantly male musical landscape whilst highlighting some very important issues.

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