In most African communities we say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The making of a film is no different. You need multiple departments ranging from make-up, finance guys, post-production, and more. In this post, we seek to praise one of Zimbabwe’s greatest directors: Blaqs. His tag: “Umsebenzi Ka Blaqs” is a line that promises fireworks, wherever you see it.
In his growingly-triumphant career, Blaqs has delivered a wide range of productions but in this post, we want to focus on his music videos. Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the majestic Sistine Chapel ceiling. In a similar fashion, over the years Blaqs has been commissioned by Zimbabwean musical giant; Jah Prayzah, to bring his music videos to life. If you want an explosion of life and colour, Blaqs is your man.
In a YouTube interview with “The Call in” our man-of-the-hour got asked, “Out of all of [his] videos, which one was his favourite?” Blaqs had this to say:
“That’s such a tough question because; every project that I take on has its own challenges. Its own beautiful moments, and its own little triumphs (and all that) so it’s hard to pick a favourite. (But) If I were a fan of Blaqs out there, I would easily pick: Munyaradzi”
Blaqs also went on to add “Kwayedza” as yet another close favourite of his. We have made a link to the full interview he did at the end of this post. Before that we have three of his productions to share with you, each is followed by a podcast commentary.
For those of you that do not understand the language, some of these songs will be sung in, don’t worry! The podcast which follows after each song will explain things a bit. Let’s kick off things with Sadza ne muriwo (before we play you Blaq’s personal favourites):
5. Sadza nemuriwo
In “Kwayedza” you get to see how Blaqs managed to capture several things like train smoke, energetic IYASA dancers, and colour. What is IYASA? In short, its one of the best dance collectives in Zimbabwe; IYASA ( Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts) is a combination of Ndebele and English phrase which means Freedom of the Youth.
In the above passages we talked about how Blaqs singled out “Munyaradzi” is one of his personal projects. After having watched it on the link above, I’m sure you might have seen why. The emotion and execution seen in the production is unlike any of the other videos on this article.
This entry onto our post was shot in a remote district of Zimbabwe called Binga. In the podcast we not only talk about the video, but you will also get to hear a bit about Binga and the African communities that live there.
Buckle up for part 4 of our 5 part podcast analysis. For those of you who might not speak or understand the language in the video above, we get to talk about the meaning behind the word “Hokoyo”, the contents of the video and a whole bunch of other info.
Most of the videos that are featured in this post are productions that Blaqs did for Jah Prayzah. In an effort to show how versatile “The king” is in his work, we decided to include a video that he directed for Ammara Brown. In my humble opinion she is one of Zimbabwe’s most exportable music stars, in any category; male or female. Hits like Akiliz have gained her the immense adoration, and new global fans.
Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed the read and please feel free to post any comments or suggestions below. As promised before, here is an interview that Blaqs had recently with “The Call In”. Subscribe to their YouTube channel (The FeedZW) and enjoy!