Inombolo Yocingo – Rebecca Malope
Okay, so I had to rely on Google’s translate function to give me the English title of this Rebecca Malope track, and according to Google, ‘Inombolo Yocingo’ means phone number. If that’s incorrect, I apologise. However I am not sure if Recebcca is asking for or being asked for a phone number, or if she is singing the telephone directory (which I am pretty sure she’s not) as I was denied the opportunity to study Zulu to matric.
However, even though I don’t understand the lyrics, I can appreciate the music and emotion in Rebecca’s voice. And going by the emotion that she packs into her delivery of the song, I would say that this is not a a happy swapping of phone numbers, but rather a lament at losing the phone number of someone she really wanted to stay in touch with as it is a plaintive sound that she emits and the music, although one could dance to it, is a serious slower (but not slow) dance beat.
I may well be way of course on this one, but it is a song that showcases the slightly more serious pop sound that came from the townships in the late 90’s/early naughties. It was a more mature sound than that which we had heard through the 80’s and that’s not to detract from the youthful joy of tracks from that earlier decade, ‘Inombolo Yocingo’ reflects the changing circumstances of black people in South Africa that happened throughout the 90’s and sometimes its more important to understand what people are feeling rather than what they are saying.
Where to find it:
Sabel’Uyabizwa – Rebecca Malope (2001), CCP Record Company, CDFLY(WL)571