Last year, American journalist Chris Smith journeyed to Zambia to interview WITCH’s Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda, Amanaz’s Keith Kabwe and the select few remaining Zamrock musicians he could find. He recently published his story in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. An excerpt is below; follow the link to the full story. Fill yourself in as we ready our 4CD/6LP WITCH anthology – scheduled for release in May of 2012.
” Although sub-Saharan Africa isn’t much known for rock ‘n roll, for a brief period in the late 1960s and 1970s, young guys from Nigeria to South Africa picked up guitars and started playing like Deep Purple. The lion’s share of these groups hailed from Zambia. The biggest band was the Witch, and Jagari, an Africanisation of Mick Jagger’s name, was the lead singer. Fusing the pop sensibility of the Stones, the fuzzed-out guitars of Cream and homegrown kalindula rhythms, the Witch toured all over Southern Africa, from Botswana to Kenya, playing to thousands at stadium shows. ‘The Witch were the band,” says Errol Hickey, the Zambian entertainment impresario and former chairperson of Lusaka’s Radio Phoenix. “They blew people’s minds, eh?’ ”
Read the full article: “Up From The Underground” by Chris Smith (South Africa Mail & Guardian, Sunday, 11.25.11).
More info on our Zambian “Zamrock” reissues here.