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Stimela reunite at Durban Playhouse

By Mthobisi Makhathini

THE Durban Playhouse vibrated with the excitement of music fans who attended the live DVD recording of the legendary South African group Stimela, on Saturday night.

The show was Stimela’s first recording since its members, Ray Phiri, vocalist and guitarist, drummer Isaac “Mnca” Mtshali, bassist Jabu Sibumbe, vocalist Nana Coyote, Thabelo Kgomo on keyboards and Lloyd Lelosa, who plays piano and keyboard, reunited.

Group leader Ray Phiri said the group celebrated 25 years in the industry by fine-tuning 25 old songs. The DVD was recorded despite the fact that the new album has not yet been released.

“We fine-tuned old tracks, and also recorded new tracks during the show because we are here to leave a legacy,” Phiri said.

Among old songs that the group performed were Whispers in the Deep and Who’s Fooling Who. The group performed two sessions, plugged and unplugged. The band also shared a stage with a young hip hop artist, Young Nation, who did a remix of the group’s famous song Zwakala.

Meanwhile, Phiri told The Witness that he cannot guarantee that the band was back together for good.

“We all have different things that we do in life. Stimela is an institution and therefore we will come together if there’s something we want to achieve,” he said, adding that the group is linked very much to cultural achievements.

The only member not featured in the DVD was second keyboard player Charlie Ndlovu, who has not availed himself to the group since they reunited four years ago. “We hear that he is sick, but he keeps avoiding us,” said spokesman Jabu Sibumbe.

Phiri also said that next year the group will be performing nationally.

Stimela was formed in 1981 and has since become celebrated for its fusion of different elements and styles to create a unique appeal and sound.