“Ezesimanje” by Mahotella Queens - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1982 →Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s →

TJR says

Following on from their Northern Sotho / Pedi language album, “Pitsa Tse Kgolo”, Mahotella Queens were back in their more familiar Zulu tongue for “Ezesimanje”, continuing what was a very industrious year for the group. Smiling back at you (from left to right on album cover) were: Beatrice Ngcobo, Maggie Khumalo, Emily Zwane (lead vocalist), Hazel Zwane and Caroline Kapentar. 'The Beggers' on this occasion are: Marks Mankwane (guitars); Mzwandile David (bass); Thamie Xongwana (keyboards) and Mike Stoffel (drums). Horns and harmonies help to frame the splendid opener, “Amanga Neqiniso” (Truth And Lies), in which folks are urged to be truthful, and that trust and respect will be the reward. The funky stomp of “Malume” (“Uncle”) is a first-half highlight as is “Abelusi” (“Shepherds”), penned by Caroline. I’m guessing this might be some sort of song of praise, and the great gospel-tinged vocals certainly do nothing to dispel this theory. Initial reservations about that dreaded early 80s yo-so-funky bendy-bass are soon overcome as soon as the girls get going – the lead and the harmonies are glorious together, as I’ve long-since come to expect with brand Mahotella. Album highlight “Bongani Mntanami” (“Thank You Youngster”) is to do with teaching the young ones manners, specifically when it comes to their elders and grandparents. Over on side two, a couple of pop ballads lose momentum for me, but side one more than compensates, and there's still enough overall 'edge' to justify the rebel's ear.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:23] 7.3.png Mahotella Queens - Amanga Neqiniso (Emily Zwane, Marks Mankwane) Africana
A2 [03:03] 6.6.png Mahotella Queens - Ningikhipha Inyumbazane (Beatrice Ngcobo) Africana
A3 [03:06] 7.5.png Mahotella Queens - Malume (Mitah Nhlapho) Africana
A4 [03:02] 7.5.png Mahotella Queens - Abelusi (Caroline Kapentar) Africana
A5 [03:32] 8.0.png Mahotella Queens - Bongani Mntanami (Beatrice Ngcobo) Africana
B1 [02:50] 3.7.png Mahotella Queens - Kobanini Ngihlupheka (Beatrice Ngcobo, Emily Zwane) Pop Ballad
B2 [03:05] 6.2.png Mahotella Queens - Ngicela Ungithathe (Emily Zwane) Africana
B3 [03:16] 6.4.png Mahotella Queens - Ngothini Na? (Beatrice Ngcobo) Africana
B4 [03:46] 3.8.png Mahotella Queens - Ungabombhekela Phansi (Emily Zwane) Pop Ballad
B5 [03:31] 5.9.png Mahotella Queens - Isono Sami (Caroline Kapentar) Africana
© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved