Shichangani (Remix) - Penny Penny

from the album Shaka Bundu (2013)

1994: Johannesburg, South Africa.  Joseph Shirimani is producing Tsonga (a form of Afro-Disco) records at a local studio.  He is solicited by the janitor, who is anxious to make a record.  They work together and produce Shaka Bundu, an album that initially sold 250,000 copies.  However, the reach of that album never extended much beyond South Africa.

Twenty years later, this album has been reissued globally, giving it a chance to reach music lovers like us.  This album is loaded up with great tunes that help get your groove on.  My favorite is the remix version of Shichangani.  It is a curiously timeless song, bringing together elements of London dub, a disco lounge vibe, and Jamaican dancehall stylings.  This is all wrapped in something uniquely african. I keep listening to this song and try to pick apart its elements, all the while thinking "this is brilliant."

So, what is Penny Penny up to today?  That is the best part of this story.  After growing up in a remote, northern province family where his father - a doctor - had 25 wives and 68 children, he moved to the city and lived homeless - taking odd jobs - in search of success.  Today, he is the first musician to serve as a member of the African National Congress.  Here he is noted as a reformer who fights against corruption in the awarding of water and sanitation contracts.  A noble cause.

Hopefully, the reissue of this wonderful record will resurrect his music career.  He sounds committed, having recently said "Music is my business.  It is what I can't stop doing.  The ANC and politics, fighting for the people, is fine.  But music is my gift."

I wish Penny Penny all the best.

Click Here to listen to Shichangani (Remix).

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