BULAWAYO – Impumelelo Shining Stars is celebrating their 15th anniversary at a concert set for Inyathi Youth Centre in Mpopoma today that will feature local and South Africa-based artistes.
The line-up of performers includes Ezimnyama Dance Group, an imbube outfit called Great Stars, an all-women ensemble called Iluba Lemvelo, a maskandi outfit called Izinja Ziyamluma and gospel songbird Monica Ncube who is based in South Africa.
Impumelelo Shining Stars’ director Oscar Siziba told the Daily News that it was fitting to mark their 15th year in existence in a special way.
“It is never easy to keep a group intact for 15 years. We have seen several groups, including very popular ones split for different reasons. We have even watched those who came after us fight before splitting which is something common in our industry and that is why we feel it is important for us to celebrate this unity,” said Siziba.
He added that the celebrations will provide a platform for the group to reflect on the challenges they have endured as well as their future targets.
“We have invited our followers from all over the world to come and party with us while getting treated to different genres of music,” said Siziba.
The nine-member band, which has released seven albums to date, was formed in Gwanda in 2001.
“The group was as a result of a vision by my brother Costa. I remember we formed the band under an eMhabahaba tree Enqameni in Gwanda. We then scouted for members and soon we became a full-fledged imbube outfit.
“But for exposure’s sake we had to move to Bulawayo three months later and I can safely say that was the beginning of the long journey,” Ncube said.
One of the highlights of their 15-year-long existence was featuring South Africa’s imbube legend Joseph Shabalala of Black Mambazo on their 2012 and latest album Amaqhinga Aphelile.
Their other albums are Emthonjeni, Uhlaleleni, Umhlaba uyajikajika, Ngeke ehluleke, Nomalanga and Love One Another.
Last year, the widely-travelled group recorded a live DVD of songs from their different albums at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre.
Currently, they are working on their eighth album that is set to be released in June.