Fans of two of South Africa’s heavyweight entertainers Sjava and Big Zulu are in for a treat as the pair announced a joint project as ‘Inkabi Zezwe’ single slated for 24 March and an album in May with Warner Music Africa (WMA).
Inkabi Zezwe – an isiZulu term of endearment that, when used in the context of music, describes a unified brotherhood that is representative and reflective of the nation. Zezwe means ‘of the Nation’, simply put, Sjava & Big Zulu are two giants who have united for this once-off collaboration as an offering to the nation.
The duo is set to release the first single titled ‘Umbayimbayi’.
The intermingling of traditional IsiZulu musical forms with contemporary music is the confluence at which the two artists meet; Sjava makes his way through African Trap and AfroSoul while Big Zulu boisterously asserts by way of Hip-Hop. Even with these somewhat different approaches to music, both artists share a quaint intrigue for love, hope and family with IsiZulu culture as their common ground. Consequently, a collaborative album between Sjava and Big Zulu can only highlight the rich tapestry of complex IsiZulu identities, its people, and its ambition. The task they set for themselves – an immersive recording process for a full-length body of work – was personal. The backdrop of this creative exploit was Bergville, the birthplace, and home to both musicians. This proximity to home meant that the music would be poignant and would carry fragments of the pair’s intimate world, the people that raised them, and the green hills that raise them.