Legendary Stimela to perform in Namibia
Stimela has been existing since the 1970s, having started out as instrumentalists, but evolving into a vocal group later on. The mid 80s heralded a moment in the band’s history that will forever be a contentious point of debate, the era of Paul Simon and the album Graceland. In his quest to revive his flagging career, Simon was in search of salvation in Southern Africa and picked Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela for the Graceland tour to Zimbabwe. A member of Stimela, Ray Phiri was the arranger and guitarist for the tour, fusing western folk sensibilities with authentic African sounds.
This project was not without its controversy with Simon accused of ignoring the cultural boycott and Phiri’s song “Crazy Love” not credited to him. Despite this, Phiri who was philosophical about the perceived betrayal and Isaac Mtshali, toured internationally with Graceland between 1987 and 1990, returning periodically to record with Stimela.
Eight years after reclaiming their considerable space on the performance circuit and after much cajoling and investments, Stimela reunited in Polokwane to record a new album, A Lifetime. This is their first offering since the dawn of democracy and features some illustrious guest in the shape of New York-based South African bass Bakiti Khumalo, Thandiswa Mazwai, Puff Johnson and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
“The songs chose who was going to play them If there was a guitar player that was going to play it better than me then why not get them to play? So we called in other musicians,” said Phiri about the project.
Tickets are available at Computicket outlets countrywide. VIP tickets sell for N$800, Golden Circle tickers for N$400 and Standard tickets for N$150.