Who said cultural messages cannot be promoted through hip-hop genre? If you are a fan of hip-hop music and given a chance to come up with a list of music icons who are more than cultural advocates, then, it is Sungununu crew. The group is here to protect various cultures of Malawi through Miyambi.
The record of accomplishment for the Lilongwe-based Sungununu crew of Miyambi fame, which started operating in 2006, keeps rising each day. The three-member crew, comprising Janta (music producer), Gowa (song writer) and Essim (video producer), does hip-hop music in Chichewa – as Miyambi entails the Malawian culture. Its main goal is to promote African hip-hop music and culture to both the youth and elderly in Africa and the whole world.
Akuseka, a music video that enjoyed air play on MBC Television, is one of the crew’s best releases. This time around, Sungununu is back with a promising album dubbed Miyambi. Waakulu.
“We call our genre Miyambi hip-hop because our lyrics are dominated by proverbs. It is a fusion of western hip-hop and some African traditional music with lyrics dominated by proverbs. We believe that if hip-hop music is done in our own mother language, it can reach and influence a lot of Malawians. At the same time, we are trying to clear the bad image that people have towards urban hip-hop,” said Gowa in an interview.
“We believe the 17 track- album Miyambi which comes after Waakulu, is going to be a bullet as we have been working on it since 2008. Our focus during the first album was to establish ourselves on the music industry and not to make money. So we cannot say it was a success or not as we need a step forward,” added Gowa enthusiastically.
The Lilongwe-based crew is working with several artists on the album set to be released in May this year. “We are working with artists like Lucius Banda with whom we did a song called Ngenge, Tithetse Umphawi with Sally Nyundo and Tatsekula, a collaboration with a leading female secular musician, Wendy Harawa. The idea behind the collaborations was to bridge the gap between the young and old generation, as our album is targeting any person. In fact we recorded and produced the album at Sungununu Records in Area 25,” he explained.