Some social and literary aspects in Zambian popular music : The case of Serenje Kalindula band

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Sichinga, Willy Geas
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The research was on some social and literary aspects of popular music in Zambia, giving a case study of Serenje Kalindula Band and the Kalindula genre. Kalindula music became popularized in the late 1970's when the electric guitar and other Western instruments were introduced to enhance it. Kalindula popular music flourished given the political environment that existed under the rule of the first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda who made a policy that Zambia national broadcasting corporation (ZNBC) was to play 95% of Zambian music on both Television and Radio. From this background, the author aimed to investigate some social and literary aspects that characterized this kind of popular music. Also the critical role of people like Alick Nkhata and their contribution to the popular music in Zambia was examined. This was important because most of the previous studies in music centred on tradition music. Furthermore, this research was to specifically review aspects of value, function, theme as well as other literally studies in the selected song texts of the Kalindula popular genre. To successfully conduct the research, the author was informed by both primary and secondary sources. For instance, published works from libraries were consulted. Also, Newspapers like the Post made weekly publications of music reviews which proved very helpful to the research. The Internet rendered valuable information in the study of Zambian popular music especially the interviews carried over it involving personalities like Chisha Folotiya. Chisha Folotiya is proprietor of Mondo Music Corporation, a recording company in Zambian popular music. The author equally conducted interviews with different people and as was found appropriate. One such interview was that done in Mufulira with one surviving and founder member of Serenje Kalindula Band, Wisdom 'Destroyer' Nkandu. As a resident of Serenje district, where the Serenje Kalindula Band had its ethnic inclination, the author through participatory observation gained insights into cultural values of Kalindula music among the natives of Serenje and Mkushi. Tapes by Serenje Kalindula Band were vital in transcribing song texts on which the research was based. Descriptive approach was used to write the research report. The research revealed a number of trends that characterized Zambian popular music, especially Kalindula genre under study. Revelations hinted on social and literally aspects of Kalindula popular music. For instance, the music was shown to express feelings and attitudes towards the economic and social crisis experienced by Zambians at that time. Serenje Kalindula Band composed songs to sing about these bad times and urged government and political leadership to alleviate the suffering of the Zambian citizenry. Also, both the music and dance point to the ethno music of the Lala people of Serenje and Mkushi districts. The literally aspects were found to characterize African sang poetry. This is poetry composed in free verse and is repetitive. The investigation showed that Kalindula popular music competed well as national music. The popular genre proved relevant to the Zambian society and depicted literature as it pertains to society. Among the recommendations is the need for the government to support old guards of Zambian popular music like Wisdom Destroyer Nkandu, the only surviving member of Serenje Kalindula Band, in their quest to propagate to the youth and the nation at large Kalindula as a popular genre. This would be necessary so that cultural values in the nation continue to be upheld.
Popular music , Popular music--Zambia