This morning’s session on Ukhozi FM was dedicated to the late Vusi Ximba, the legendary maskandi musician who succumbed to Aids some three years ago. The irony here is that a number of Ximba’s songs were actually banned by Ukhozi for their crude lyrics – the humour in which I’m certain Ximba would have much appreciated! At the time of his death the Mail & Guardian ran a great tribute to Ximba. In it the author, Tinyiko Maluleke, explained what he saw as the secret behind the success of this great musician. While Ximba wasn’t the most handsome of men, nor the most gifted musically, he was an incredible orator and observer of human behaviour, carrying on the great tradition of Zulu story-telling. The stories that he told, often with great humour, were not always very politically correct and sometimes elicited much controversy, but according to Maluleke, they were stories that people could relate to – and when you have that skill, the ability to reach the hearts and minds of the man in the street, you’re always going to have a hit!
So thank you to Ukhozi FM for not letting us forget one of KZN’s greats – he may have been something of a cheeky so-and-so, but he played an important role in keeping the great art of story-telling alive and well!