When they get famous, most artistes tend to forget their roots and where they come from. However, for one seasoned alternative musician Hwabaraty, real name Japhet Mlauzi, Njube suburb will always stay closer to his heart.
The dusty streets of one of the oldest suburbs in the City of Kings gave life and the performing talent that Hwabaraty possesses. These are the same streets that also groomed him to be the actor, choreographer and a successful musician he is today.
As such, to honour iKasi, the dreadlocked artiste released his latest album at Njube’s B section outside the city council’s Sdudla beer garden on 1 September.
The title of his fourth album is called Umqakezeleni.
The 12-track offering which Hwabaraty revealed, was maturely composed, was produced by local beat masters Godwin “Smallz” Ndlovu and Erastus Nleya.
Spain artiste Suka, Skyz Metro FM’s Kundai Shamuyarira, Imbube ensemble Indonsakusa, Skhu, Just Percy, Patrick Mabhena and Madlela Skhobokhobo are the artistes that Hwabaraty featured on his latest offering.
Staying true to himself and protecting his identity made Hwabaraty to honour his true Njube fans with the album.
“The concept of launching my fourth album in Njube was motivated by the truth. I always left my people behind yet they are my true fans, these are also the people that made me the person I am today.
“I decided to give back to my community by launching this album for free because my heart is all Njube and that will never change. I will always represent iKasi Lami to the world,” he said.
Hwabaraty has always maintained a spot as a favourite nominee in all the editions of the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA), something he said was because his music had an impact in most people’s lives and they could relate to it.
However, he revealed that Umqakezeleni offering is quite different from his previous albums as it was mature and had less of Kwaito sound.
“This album is different from the past ones because it is deeply rooted in my culture. I also did more of singing than rapping. The sound has gone to another level on the production segment and the message I am preaching is uplifting and gives hope to my fans,” said Hwabaraty.
If it wasn’t for his wife Precious Phiri and their daughter, Hwabaraty said the launch of the album wouldn’t have been successful. He also paid tribute to the people of Njube and urged them to continue supporting his music.
My wife is my pillar of strength. She always prays and supports me to keep going and not give up. She has been instrumental in shaping my vision of this project. Also thanks should be given to the Njube community for supporting me tirelessly,” he said.