‘Iphupho’ is an all-original and all new album of heartfelt stories, real experiences and sublime harmonies sung by the 6-piece South African group, Afrika Mamas. As much a sisterhood as a musical group, these six women work hard and sing with a palpable strength and sensitivity that is undeniably African and unmistakenly powerful.
Afrika Mamas sing practical songs about their lives as single mothers in Durban, South Africa, as women in a heavily male-dominated music scene. Their songs are their stories and the first story starts with the making of this very special album.
The album’s name and title track, ‘Iphupho’ or ‘The dream song’, was written by Ntombi Lushaba and focuses on her dream to take Afrika Mamas’ music to the world, inspired by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. This dream came true when Afrika Mamas found themselves recording ‘Iphupho’ atDurban’s United Rhythm Studio, a place of great significance in African a cappella record-making.
In keeping with the vocal a cappella traditions of Zulu culture, Africa Mamas have produced an all-original and all-new album of their stories and struggles in a largely male-dominated society and music industry. South African a cappella, aka isicathamiya’ (pronounced as ‘izzee-cat-a-meeya’), meaning to ‘tread carefully’ or ‘walk softly’, started as a predominantly male vocal tradition. Afrika Mamas are on a mission to break with stereotypes, to both educate and entertain audiences with their folk tales.
- Ntombifuthi Lushaba – band leader, soprano
- Sibongile Nkosi – bass, lead singer
- Fikile Busisiwe Mhlongo – lead singer, tuner
- Sister Zungu – bass
- Sindisiwe Khumalo – alto
- Nonhlanhla NhloeDube – soprano