Cee Jay Besa Introduces the Mbira in “Vahombe”

Traditional: Cee Jay Besa

Traditional: Cee Jay Besa

Shireen Benjamin, the reigning Miss West Africa International, recently decried the lack of African musicians who openly and actively endorse African clothing through their songs and videos, (as she launched African Fashion day). However, that is not the case for one Cee Jay Besa. Cee Jay dons traditional Zimbabwean garb in the music video for his latest single, Vahombe. In the same video, he can also be seen playing the “mbira”, a traditional African musical
The Mbira

The Mbira

instrument. The mbira consists of staggered metal pieces attached to a wooden board and it is sometimes encased in a wooden resonator. It is called a thumb piano and by different names in several Eastern and Southern African Countries.

Cee Jay Besa is a Zimbabwean Artist/Producer/Singer based in Dallas Texas USA. Having been in Africa to Cee-Jay-Vahombe-flyer-revrepresent Zimbabwe at The World Cup In South Africa(SA), he took advantage of some off days and traveled home to Zimbabwe to shoot a new music video to promote his new latest album, entitled Ndangariro. He was also able to peform at a live show, at The Mannenberg, backed by his crew The Raiders, who are based in Zimbabwe. In SA he performed live at The Mary Fitzgerald Square and at fan parks in Pretoria and Johannesburg, where he and his band set the stages on fire with their vibrant performances. His 2010 tour touched USA, SA, Zimbabwe and Canada for the third year in a row. He is planning to tour the UK, SA and Zimbabwe, later this year 2011.

In the song Vahombe, the sound of the mbira, which plays from the start to the end, blends in well with drums and other instruments. The video was shot in rural Zimbabwe and shows Cee Jay doing some Afican moves, accompanied by his back up dancers. The young singer and instrumentalist tries to convey a cultural message through this piece, with a mixture of singing and rap. It is a surreal but educative presentation, which can easily be distanced from the videos of flossing performers and scantily-clad women, which is associated with music of today’s youth.

The unmistakable sound of the mbira can be heard in the music of other artists such as British singer/songwriter, Steve Hackett, and Zimbabwean born British indie rock artist, Tinashe. It may soon become a part of contemporary music and pop culture if all Africans and the world at large endorses it.

Check out – Vahombe (Link to download Album)

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