Legendary local musician and multiple award winning songstress, Stella Rambisi Chiweshe once said: “No doctor is capable of healing the intense pain that only music can soothe.”
Man’s existence on this side of heaven is best summed up in the late political theorist Thomas Hobbes’ greatest ever piece of work, the Leviathan.
In the Leviathan which has been equated to the premium political manuscript, The Prince, penned by late Italian radical scholar, Niccolo Machiavelli, Hobbes argues that human beings are naturally selfish and their lives are an unremitting “war of all against all,” as they seek to destroy each other in an incessant pursuit for power.
“If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies and endeavour to destroy or subdue one another. Life is therefore nasty, brutish and short.”
Ultimately, pain and distress result from these endless battles man engage with each other and against life’s own incessant challenges like health problems, economic difficulties, rejection and death.
According to Chiweshe, the resultant does not need the expert knowledge of a medical doctor nor the healing power of drugs but the soothing power of music.
American author, Hannah Harrington concurs with Chiweshe in her fictitious book ‘Saving June.’
Writes Harrington: “He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that’s what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.”
From this background, a 13 member mixed acapella ensemble, Thee Family, has risen from the southern African nation of Zimbabwe with the sole aim of healing the broken hearted and giving hope to the hopeless through the powerful use of music.
Hailing from the Seventh Day Adventist church which has popularised acapella music in Zimbabwe, Thee Family is a group on a mission to spread the good news of Christ’s soon return.
Their latest offering, Simswabisile usatane (we have embarrassed the devil) which will be launched this Saturday, October 22 at Cathedral Hall in Harare’s central business district will prove beyond any shadow of doubt that the youthful group whose music is directed by Eddie Matsika, is getting better with age like the proverbial wine.
The sizzling 13 track album Recorded at MFDT studios and produced by talented creator Clifford Machingaifa whose terrific musical ear is a marvel, brings out Thee Family’s sophisticated harmonies and their ability to craft a repertoire of original songs and distinctive arrangements.
Simswabisile usatane offers a buffet of musical food for Christians and non-Christians alike and is chock-full of praise, worship, encouragement and prayerful tracks that fight pain, plant seeds of hope and gives the heart pleasure in knowing that Christ has a perpetual love for it.
The first track on the album, wafamba nenyika (you have wandered) is a clarion call to never lose hope when life’s afflictions bombard us.
“Guqu’thandaze (get on your knees and pray) is a prayerful song whose roots can be traced back to the biblical verse which encourages us to pray without ceasing,” said Thee Family’s founding director, Hlanganani Ngwenya during a wide ranging interview with 263Chat.
“In these tough and trying times, the album is a source of hope and comfort. Something to listen to when either bed ridden by the troubles of this world or when rejoicing and celebrating God’s marvellous works,” added Ngwenya.
The album’s seventh track entitled down by the crystal sea is a celebratory song, painting a picture of the joy that will fill God’s people when sin is finally destroyed by Christ’s second coming.
“I encourage everyone to come and support us on Saturday evening. Our program starts at 1830hrs and it is one not to be missed. We will also have performances by Reunion and The Well, two big groups who have made a mark in the acapella genre,” said Ngwenya.
Performing an eclectic mix of covers and originals, The Family’s sound has been described as both ‘sexy and sophisticated.’
Their ability to set the audience ablaze with their infectious energy and seamless harmony is unmatched no wonder why they have performed steadily at venues large and small within the country and the region since their inception in 2011.
Locally the group has performed in the country’s major cities and towns including Harare, Dotito, Gweru, Bulawayo and Mutare while outside Zimbabwe’s boarders they have toured South Africa and Botswana. In November they will be gracing Zimbabwean northern neighbours, Zambia.
This latest offering is their third album, the first two being shall we gather at the river and inorema nzira.