Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
BHUNDU BOYS, The
Pop band from Zimbabwe, formed '80, hit singles there from '82. Lead singer Biggie Tembo was a member of Robert Mugabe's Zanu during the civil war; headed for Harare when that was over with political feelings but trad. roots: music blends mbira sound of East African village with synthesized 'jit', a dance-hall beat relying on throbbing bass (David Mankaba) and percussion (Kenny Chitsvatsva). Biggie also played guitar; all sang incl. keyboardist Shakie Kangwela (name means Shakespeare Little Crocodile) who became a pop star with 'Hatisitose' (no. 1 at home for three months '84); also guitarist Rise Kangona. LPs: Shabini '86, Tsvimbodzemoto ('Sticks On Fire') '87 on Discafrique, True Jit '87 on WEA incl. single 'Jit Jive', 'Vana (The Children)' (dedicated to those who died in the war, especially Tembo's boyhood friend Theo); the album thanked Mugabe 'and the others who restored sanity to our country'. First toured UK '86; exhausting '87 tour saw them play almost every town in the country and fans were astonished at their endurance: they were used to playing eight-hour sets. White purist critics whined about their music, especially when they were on a major label, and fans back home also resented them; they had to return to mend fences, but they were a world-class act. Tembo split acrimoniously (later with the Ocean City Band) and several subsequent members died of AIDS. Re-formed by Kangona for Muchiyedza (Out Of The Dark) on Cooking Vinyl '97, the loping beat and sprightly guitars intact.