Bankrupt Souls is a band that hails from Francistown, Botswana. They sing Rock, Folk, Afro jazz, Tswana and Kalanga Music, well the track you are about to jam sounds folkish with cool metal riffs and is sung in their mother tongue.
When I first listened to Zwandiwana, I didn’t understand a single word, of course, since I don’t speak the language. However, I enjoyed the folkish instruments and began my journey to find the meaning of Zwandiwana. When I discovered that it meant “I Have a problem,” I knew I had to know more.
So I sat down with Dumisani Matiha, the lead singer, songwriter, guitarist at Bankrupt Souls who also happens to be a singer, songwriter and guitarist at Metal Orizon. That’s a genius right there.
Austin Of AudioInferno: Which language did you write it in?
Dumisani Matiha of Bankrupt Souls:
I am Nkalanga from the North Eastern part of Botswana so I used my mother tongue. Initially, I had a different chorus in this same song but failed to fit in the guitar riff so I had to look for a different line. A different chorus in the same song.
I think y’all should just listen to the track, now.
OK, let’s continue.
AI: So at the end of the track, I noticed some cool riffs, who played it?
I played everything but I had band mates helping in moulding the song. I spent a lot of time with the other guitarist Gabriel Rampefe perfecting it then our bassist Oppy helped with editing it because it was way too long and while we didn’t care about how long it was but after he advised us it made sense to edit the length.
AI: What does the song mean in your language?
The chorus part in folk it means “I have a problem.” So the song is for weddings usually sang by mother to the daughter during marriage ceremonies whereby they part with their daughter as she leaves to join a new family which is her husband’s. Her mother cries as she sings, filled with fear that her daughter is gone but at the same time happy that she has brought a man who will bring food to the table.
AI: What’s the inspiration behind the song?
The guy far right putting on glasses, he is holding an Ikalanga instrument which sounds like a flute, I went to primary school with him thirty years back and he used to play that when we were kids looking after cattle. So I went back to my home village looked for the fruit that would be turned into that instrument then begged him to revisit old days and record that for me. He had not played that for the past 35 years. Point of correction the Ikalanga flute was not played by me, he played it I don’t know how to play. I am from a minority tribe and our language is oppressed so helping it to stay alive is to put it in music and to experiment by fusing metal with African riffs and languages.
We Nigerians could learn from these guys using their mother tongue to sing rock and adding some cool riffs. Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo Metal won’t be that bad. Or some of the smaller languages like Isoko, that way, we preserve our languages.
OK so they are currently three in the band. Dumisani recorded first guitar, lead vocals and solos, Gabriel Rampefe on second guitar and Oppy Gae on bass guitar and they are looking for a willing drummer also and he or she has to be residing in Botswana, send Dumisani a mail [email protected] to apply.
So stayed tuned to AudioInferno as we will be picking Dumisani’s head on the other track released with this one, that one is promising, too.
Remember to support your local bands and rock on \m/.