Inkabi Zezwe project a powerful partnership by SA’s heavy-hitters Sjava and Big Zulu

“I’M personally, grateful for having worked with one of SA’s best, who is also umfowethu– a brother- and a workaholic,” says Sjava.

The multi-award winning artist of note had a brief chat with this reporter at the exclusive listening session of the project known as ‘Inkabi Zezwe’ a single, to be released under Warner Music Africa, on March 24.

It will be followed by a full album scheduled for May.

Clad in popular brown, Brentwood shot, sandals and a blue shirt- an attire synonymous with Zulu ‘culture’ the full-bearded Sjava tells the project has been in the making quietly.

“We did not want to raise any alarms as you may be aware social media is way too fast on such news, thus kept it close to our hearts until this today (Friday), at the media launch. We only informed our families at the last minute- that’s how secretive we had to be on this project,” he quipped after the listening session attended by leading industry players.

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.

Inkabi Records boss Big Zulu says, the partnership with his homeboy has been long in the making but, had to make sure all the right cords were hit before going public.

“It was an easy exercise since we both respect and preserve our culture, hence this special project. It will be forever be engraved in our hearts for as long as we live,” says Big Zulu, in his traditional dreadlocks and signature smile.

The duo is set to release the first single titled ‘Umbayimbayi’.

The collaboration with WMA on this project has been well in the works and marks a new horizon for both the label and the artists. WMA, MD Temi Adeniji says:” This idea started to percolate of bringing Sjava and Big Zulu together for a one-time project.

We wanted to do something really, special. Things didn’t immediately fall into place – meeting after meeting, putting all the pieces together, and coming up with a structure that worked for all parties. After a few months, we came to a meeting of the minds, and it was like everything clicked.

For me, this project signifies so much. It’s the first really big project Warner has done since I came in and given our intention to transform our business and really bring it to the centre of the culture here in the country, it couldn’t be more perfect in my opinion,” says Adeniji.

The astounding backdrop of this creative exploit was Bergville, KZN, the birthplace, and home to both musicians.

A national tour has been planned with more details to follow.

This is what you get when African Trap & AfroSoul, ‘Hip-Hop’ and Bergville meets!

Top image SLM (Powerful pair. Sjava and Big Zulu at the Inkabi Zezwe project launch held at World of Yamaha, Woodmead).

Image SLM (SA’s giants Sjava and Big Zulu in conversation with audience at the launch)

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