Rhumba group Bana Ngwasuma gains ground

Arts Reporter
Former Bana Des As manager Gloria “Mama Glo” Benhura’s decision to assemble a group of Congolese and Zimbabwean singers under the name Bana Ngwasuma has proved to be a wise move.

The new group is gaining ground on the local rhumba terrain, staging shows in many venues in Harare and surrounding places.

The group has seven Congolese members and four Zimbabweans, a combination that Mama Glo says will help her achieve her dream of coming up with rhumba that speaks to different nationalities.

The group has performed at places like Tanza Centre, Food Nest, Ruwa Golf Club, Bar Rouge, Zim Café, La Rouge and Prime Nightclub among other venues. They have also performed in Norton and Chegutu.

With a fusion of their own compositions and cover tracks from renowned rhumba stars, the group has been able to provide quality entertainment that has attracted many rhumba followers.

They hold shows every weekend and their fan base has been growing well. Mama Glo said she is happy with the response to their shows. ‘Bana ngwasuma’ is a Lingala phrase which means ‘children of good things’ and good things are practically rolling for the group. “We are happy with the response we are getting. I formed this group last year when I left Bana Des As. I love rhumba and I decided to come up with a new group that has Congolese and Zimbabwean members. It has been received well and the future looks bright for us,” said Mama Glo.

“Promoters, fellow musicians and venue owners have shown confidence in us and we have been busy over the past couple of months. We have performed at various venues and the shows are coming every week. This week we will be at Bar Rouge on Saturday (tomorrow). We have performed at that venue several times and they have called for our return this week.

“Besides persistent calls to return to venues where we have performed before, we also have new partners that have engaged us to explore new avenues. It has motivated the group to work hard.”

Mama Glo said they are working on a new album that will be released soon. She said the album is likely to appeal to a diverse audience because of different languages they used on the project.

“The album has songs in French, English, Lingala, Swahili and Shona. When I left Bana Des As, my dream was to have such a diverse group and I am confident we will achieve our goals.

We are grateful to fellow musicians like Suluman Chimbetu, Diana Samkange, BV Labien Musica and Juntal for the support they have given us on this journey. The group is new but most of its members have been in the industry for a long time. Their experience will make it easy for us to come up with good performances.”

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