Chibangu Waya (Chibangu Is Gone) implore on one of the superior folklore and grief-stricken songs for departed musical comrades stretching back into the 8os. This song greatly remarks the grief experienced in the Zambian music community especially at the time when so many musicians were lost:

Tukalisha shani eee, tukalisha shani eee
Tukalisha shani mwebantu
Mwaipaya, twaipaya Chibangu eee

The story begins in the late 1800s as the white missionaries took complete charge of Africa indoctrinating the populates. Among the newly introduced thoughts was that the African endemic music was demonic. It follows that the generations born into the 1900s had lost the real indigenous musical attachment, placed value, and heritage.

Indigenous music was not so embraced in missionary schools and enthusiastic younger artists had to privately consummate away from the negating institutions.

Though soon enough as education took more value, more cries for African independence took root and the lost interest for the indigenous composition begun to briefly resurface.

Hence, beginning in the 1950s and 60s perfected into the 1970s and 80s, a musical scene especially Kalindula, folklores, and Zamrock gave a resurgence and appetite to breeds of Zambian music that was only lost into the end of the decade ushering 1990.

And so the resurgence gave to Alick Nkhata, Emmanuel Mulemena, Paul Ngozi, and many Zambian artists up to the chords. However and soon economic hardships set in. Zambia’s wealth was going down. Zambia was been isolated for helping its neighbors to fight for freedom. As fewer tickets could be sold coupled with lower live band performances, musicians succumbed to the hardships of the time and soon ravaging diseases set in. Zambian music folklore was at peril.

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Chibangu Waya Waya Kushibwela Bantu ku Manda

Listen to Chibangu Waya mp3

By mid-80s among others, Emmanuel Mulemena had died, and soon Brian Chibangu followed. Grief, strife and enigmatic trivialities followed the music industry and every watering hole where the live bands played Kalindula and folk mourned.

And so Chibangu Waya was sung. Sung by Mashabe Band as a farewell to their fallen comrade, a Congolese guitarist named Brian Chibangu, apparently father to Joe Chabangu, who used to play with John Mulemena with the group “The Mulemena Boys”. 

After a severe illness, Chibangu returned to his family in Likasi 128km northwest of Lubumbashi, Katanga Province of the then Zaire, where shortly he died and was buried in 1984.

Twalila bwacha eee, Twalila bwacha eee
Twalila bwacha mayo
(we have mourned all night till dawn)

Chibangu waya, waya kushibwela bantu ku manda
(Chibangu is gone where people do not return: the cemetery)

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Tuleenda shani eee, Tuleenda shani eee
Tuleenda shani tata
Twise tumone uko walala kuli LIKASI
(How are we going to get to see the place where Chibangu rests, in LIKASI)

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  1. Alick zyambo

    April 28, 2021 at 5:16 am

    He was a great man with good voice

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