Tombofara – Calvin & Muzi (ca. 1998)

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Calvin and Muzi were undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s finest group in 1998, when their hit single ‘Tombofara’ soared to the top of Radio 3’s (now Power FM) top 100. This song was made even more special by its unusual combination of vernacular language and American accent – a novel concept at the time.

Calvin Gudu and Muzi Mangena’s career, resulting from the unexpected success of their song ‘Tombofara’, is nothing short of enigmatic. It all began with the song ‘Tombofara’, a whimsical fantasy song unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. Its sweet melody and nostalgic lyrics made it an instant success, propelling Gudu and Mangena to fame almost overnight. It was an unlikely hit, not part of any plan or larger agenda; in Gudu’s words, it simply happened naturally. But without a doubt it was this hit single that allowed Gudu and Mangena to capture the hearts and imaginations of listeners everywhere, as ‘Tombofara’ quickly became the go-to jam for all occasions.

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