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"Somaphone ?: Green Arrows"
11. Amai Mandida
12. Bambo Makwatila
13. Chechule Wavhala Bottom
14. Chimamuna Chamimba
15. Chipo Chiroorwa
16. Doro Renyu Rinonaka
17. Hurungwe
18. Infa Ilibe Chisoni
19. Madzangara Dzimu
10. Musango Mune Hangaiwa
11. Mwana Waenda
12. Nhengure
13. Nherera Zvichengete
14. Nyoka Yendara
15. Vaparidzi Vawanda
16. Wasara Wasara

Album cover artwork for The Green Arrows 4-track Recording Session

More About This Album:

Some years ago, before the Covid pandemic, I was on a solo bike tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles (on Highway 1) and was bicycling through Oakland when I heard the Zimbabwean band The Green Arrows (I believe the song was "Hurungwe") emanating from a hip cafe. Immediately captivated, I whipped out my phone and shazam-ed the song, changing my life forever.

I found their work online (https://analogafrica.bandcamp.com/album/4-track-recording-session-analog-africa-nr-1) and fell similarly in love with the entire album. I knew almost right away that I had found the next record I wanted to make an a cappella cover version of. But there was just one problem: I didn't know what they lyrics were, nor what they meant, which meant I couldn't practice singing them, not to mention couldn't know what they were about. And, much to my surprise, the Internet was no help! I couldn't find a transcription or translation of the lyrics, no matter how hard I Googled.

I had to hire someone to help me transcribe the lyrics and translate them into English. Luckily, a friend of mine who worked at a company that did consulting to businesses on localization (that is, linguistically & culturally recontextualizing their offerings for different localities around the world) owed me a favor, and so he put me in touch with several of their contractors who worked on Southern African languages. I reached out to them on LinkedIn, and the most impressive & responsive candidate by far was Butsilo Nare Charlie. The documents linked above are the result of her linguistic, academic, and sociocultural brilliance. She even ended up meeting with and speaking to the incandescent mastermind behind The Green Arrows band -- Zexie Manatsa -- several times over the years, which allowed her to gain unprecedented insight into the textual content of the band's work. I am beyond pleased to be able to share her gifts with everyone, so that the world at large, and the music world in particular, can benefit from & be enriched by their fruits.

I am very much looking forward to recording my version of these songs as soon as possible, but wanted to share the work we had to do in preparation of doing that work now so that it can enrich us immediately, and hopefully help the world see & understand more clearly the magnificent genius of Zexie and his super-talented bandmates. Should nothing more come of this project, I would be satisfied. I'm so proud that the next person who hears The Green Arrows, and is similarly transfixed by them, will be able to find their lyrics, along with an English translation and much fascinating cultural context, online quite easily!1: )1I hope you enjoy.
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