KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
IN TITLING his album I am Lenshina, and dedicating it to women, Mumba Yachi is showing a good understanding of history.
When he announced that his album is titled I am Lenshina, some people vilified him online.
Clearly, most of the attacks were a result of utter ignorance on who Lenshina was.
For most people, Lenshina is about her followers rubbing their bodies with human excreta to make them immune from bullets fired by colonial security agents.
But in Mumba Yachiâ€™s own words: â€œThis project was inspired by one of the most influential women in Zambia, Mulenga Lubusha, also known as Lenshina. She came out at a time when women did not have much political and economic freedom and rose above adversity to be heard.
â€œLenshina symbolises a person who does not allow their beliefs to be limited by their sex, religion and skin colour, tribe, health or wealth status. The project embraces the influence a woman can bring into society. She is a gift and lifeline of many generations that have been, that are and yet to come.â€
Yachi could not have explained it any better.
Indeed, Lenshina (Mulenga) was no ordinary being.
Despite being a village woman and claiming divination powers, she was able to build the Lumpa Church, which she had formed in the early 1950s in Chinsali district.
By 1958, the church had 148 congregations in the Northern Province, 60 in Chinsali alone.
Anyhow, if there is a single reason you have to listen to Mumba Yachiâ€™s album, it is simply because it is good music.
If there is a project you can term â€˜eagerly-awaitedâ€™, then I am sure I am Lenshina is one such album.
Few have doubted the musical abilities of Mumba Yachi. In fact, he has a healthy following of fans who, unfortunately, have had to endure a long wait for the album.
The good thing, though, is that it is finally here.
The album has 13 songs including a bonus track called Pasa Pasa, which teaches the importance of family values.
In fact, most of the songs are social commentaries, and comparisons with PK Chishalaâ€™s songs.
In fact, the Luapula Province roots are very evident on the album.
But also the quality of the composition, recording and engineering is admirable.
Mumba Yachi went out to get the best that he could for this project. The engineering, for instance, was done by Andrew Diamond of Sub80.
Although he does the vocals and guitars on most of the songs, he also features the likes of the highly-rated James Sakala.
There is also room for Chord 14, saxophonist James Sakala, Adora, Uncle Rex and Mutamula Mwale.
Overall, it is an easy-going and smooth-running album, one you will enjoy listening to on the highway or indeed when just relaxing.
You have to applaud Mumba Yachi for the effort to actually play the music in an era when most of his peers are going the easy way with some computer-generated sounds.
I am Lenshina has the right note.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka