The Story of // WITCH - Introduction (Private Press Version)

The WITCH occupy a vaulted position in the history of Zamrock owing to a discography that maps the decade-long trajectory of the genre itself from garage beginnings through psychedelic experimentation to progressive heights and even later into disco and boogie. While none of their albums are weak links, Lazy Bones!! in 1976 is often cited as the band's magnus opus and was certainly a high-water mark in terms of lyrical songwriting. As a historic document of Zambian popular music, however, nothing beats the group's debut Introduction. The privately pressed edition of the album was heralded as the first Zamrock recording ever to be carved into wax. From a cover depicting parachutes dropping out of a UFO in the sky to the  "here it comes" chant of the title track album opener, Introduction boldly announced the arrival of Zamrock as a sonic artform with the vinyl record as its medium.

Taking as their name the abbreviation of the phrase "We Intend To Cause Havoc," the original lineup of the WITCH included Chris Mbewe of the Twangs on lead guitar, Boyd Sinkala of the Black Souls on drums as well as John Muma (rhythm guitar) and Gedeon Mwamulenga (bass) from the Boyfriends. Fronting the ambitious ensemble on vocals was the band's youngest member Jagari Chanda, who had cut his teeth in Kingston Market as a schoolboy. Under the management of Phillip Musonda, WITCH recorded Introduction and its follow-up In the Past independently at Malachite Studios and took the master tapes to Kenya to be pressed. It is estimated that around 200 or 300 copies of these private pressings were manufactured for distribution at live shows.

Parting ways with Musonda, WITCH approached executive producer Edward Khuzwayo in Ndola, who financed a re-recording and re-branding of the albums for release in the wake of LPs by the Tinkles and Edward Mulemena on his fledgeling Zambia Music Parlour label. Gone were the cute illustrations of the private pressings as the new editions displayed slick photos of the band instead. And while the production values of the Zambia Music Parlour editions were an improvement, Introduction was no longer the spontaneous garage snapshot of the genesis of Zambia’s most beloved rockers.

The Story of // AMANAZ - Africa

 

In the mid-70s, vocalist Keith Kabwe received a call from disbanded Mabeth bassist Jerry Mausala, who pitched the idea of starting a new band. Former Wrong Number guitarist Isaac Mpofu was enlisted and rhythm guitarist John Kanyepa was so impressed by the trio's early take on Wishbone Ash that he left the Black Souls to join as well. Watts Lungu filled the drummer's seat and the band moved to Mfwila to hone their chops at the local country club before joining the competitive live circuit in Ndola. Mpofu's guitar antics made him one of the band's big draws but vocalist Kabwe was not easily outdone, taking on a creative approach to costumes and stage gimmicks. Having seen Alice Cooper perform with a python wrapped around his body and taken by David Bowie's glam persona, Kabwe came up with unannounced and often shocking stage outfits. His pièce de résistance was a coffin on stage from which pounced to open the show in a skeleton costume.

Taking a queue from WITCH, the band name Amanaz (pronounced Amanazee) stands for “Ask Me About Nice Artists in Zambia.” The group's solitary release Africa in 1975 carries a good dose of concept album gravitas, challenging hegemonic narrative with “History of Man” and lamenting slavery and colonialism with its title track as well as the album closer “Kale.” The tone of the record was set by a cover displaying a photo session of the group in hippie regalia (including bell-bottoms, platform shoes, puffy scarves and floppy hats) while posing in front of the thatched houses of a traditional African village.

The story of the making of the album bolsters its mythological status as vocalist Keith Kabwe confesses that only three days were dedicated to the writing and preparation of the material that was recorded. Moreover, the band as well as Zambia Music Parlour A&R Billie David Nyati who oversaw the sessions were unconvinced by its unusual sound and lathered an alternate edition of the master in reverb to try and improve it. Little did they know that both versions of Africa would go on to be equally admired and that the album would be rightfully identified as an African rock masterpiece when the first wave of Zamrock reissues was introduced to the rest of the world in the 2000s. Amanaz reshuffled after the release of Africa, bringing Ricky Banda on board and recording a pair of singles as the Kabwe-led outfit Drive Unit while Mpofu went on to launch and record as the Heathen.

The Story of // NGOZI FAMILY - 45,000 Volts

Paul Ngozi was the wild man of the Zamrock scene, an artist who embraced the accoutrements and antics of rock and brandished the electric guitar with a signature primitive style and brutal sonic intensity. Drenched in fuzz, phaser and wah-wah, Ngozi's tone and face-melting guitar solos are instantly recognisable in his capacity as bandleader of the Ngozi Family, supporting drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo's outings or recording as a solo artist. "Ngozi" means danger, making the substation electrocution cover of his 1977 album 45,000 Volts particularly appropriate. The album's stylised sleeve was designed by bassist Norman Muntemba of the group Salty Dog, a man who played an important role in cultivating the aesthetics of Zamrock and tellingly went on to establish a successful advertising business in his later years. The LP was also released in Kenya with alternate artwork depicting an illustrated fist holding a bolt of lighting.

Paul Ngozi was born in the mean streets of Lusaka's Chibolya township on 10 January 1949 and cut his teeth with childhood friend Chrissy Zebby Tembo in the bands Scorpions followed by Three Years Before, a witty nod to British blues-rock giants Ten Years After. Filling the boots of departed co-founder and guitarist Rikki llilonga, Ngozi joined Kenya-based Zamrock pioneers Musi-O-Tunya for a brief stint and appeared on the non-album single "Tselugani." His debut album with Ngozi Family was the Zambia Music Parlour release Day of Judgement in 1976, an unschooled channelling of raw power that stretched Zamrock into the spectrum of proto-punk.

45,000 Volts on the Chris Editions label captures Ngozi Family at a creative peak in 1977 and the set provides a good balance of English and vernacular offerings set to some of Ngozi's most confident and accomplished fuzz riffing. The recording was beautifully captured by engineer Detef Degener at Sapra Studio in Nairobi with Chissy Zebby Tembo's drums and Tommy Mwale's bass prominently mixed to prop up Ngozi's guitar shenanigans. Noteworthy moments include the utterly obnoxious guitar intro/outro to "I’ll Be With U" and shades of Black Sabbath that creep into the ghost story "House of Fear."

The Story of // RICKY BANDA - Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo


One of the most esteemed and sought after bassists of the Zamrock era, Ricky Banda was involved in a broad array of collaborations and associations over the course of the 1970s. He started his career in a band called the Vendors with childhood friend Rikki Ililonga and both went on to support He-She Mambo (who later rose to fame as a Zambian soul, funk and disco figure). Alongside Keith Mlevhu in a band called The End, Banda toured the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegedly caught the attention of rumba legend Tabu Ley Rochereau. Banda also backed Teddy Khuluzwu of Dr. Footswitch fame and is prominently featured on the 1975 album Liquid Iron.

Providing almost half of the songwriting duties on the album, Liquid Iron was a pathway to Ricky Banda's first solo release entitled Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo in 1976. With both Rikki Ililonga and Keith Mlevhu inaugurating Zamrock's rise of the solo artist, Banda got in on the action with a sturdy offering of his own. Emulating his contemporaries, he performed all of the instruments on the album with the exception of the drums, for which he enlisted a handful of session musicians including Peter Lungu of Born Free. The result is a laid-back and well-balanced singer-songwriter outing that had the honour of following WITCH’s acclaimed Lazy Bones!! as the second release on Teal's Zambezi imprint. Like Amanaz, the album cover photo juxtaposes the modern and the traditional with Banda in hip garb waving a ceremonial African fly swatter in one hand while raising the other in a peace symbol.

The album opener is the standout track and a unique piece of songwriting in the Zamrock canon. Foreshadowing the eery perspective of "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, "Who’s That Guy?" casts Banda as a creepy voyeur obsessing over a wealthy man courting the woman of his affections. Responding to President Kaunda's call for Zambian music to explore nation-building themes, the album’s title track criticises alcoholism and its effect on families and community. Ricky Banda went on to record a second album for Teal, using a backing band this time and turning his moral radar to the vice of gambling. Decades later, Ricky's brother Rupiah Banda would serve as the President of the Republic of Zambia from 2008 and 2011.

The Story of // CROSSBONES - Wise Man




In addition to just a handful of non-album singles, Wise Man is the sole recorded output from Crossbones and covers a spectrum from rock fury to psychedelic dirge while touching on local rhythms and even offering pair of female vocal ballads. The band was the brainchild of vocalist and drummer Nicki Mwanza, who co-founded the original lineup of Born Free in the early 1970s after launching his career in a group called Afro-Dynamite. Born Free, however, would evolve into the Mike Nyoni outfit that recorded the Zambia Music Parlour release Mukaziwa Chingoni in 1975. Mwanza started the band Crosstown Traffic after Born Free and later merged the two names to come up with Cross-Borns, hence Crossbones. The album was recorded at Lusaka’s dB Studios in 1976 and was the third release on the Teal imprint Zambezi following Ricky Banda’s Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo.

The lineup on Wise Man saw Mwanza taking vocal and percussion duties flanked by searing hot guitarists George Mlauzi and Henry “Mad Doc” Nkatha with Joe Tembo on bass, Richard Shachobe on drums and Sebby Nyirongo on organ. The band’s secret weapon was female vocalist Violet Kafula, who contributed two compositions and lead vocal performances to the album. Working as an office clerk in Lusaka in the early-70s, Kafula befriended Born Free as a fan and later convinced Mwanza that she could sing. With the encouragement and foresight of dB’s female engineer Nikki Ashley, Kafula’s duet “Mwebalume Bandi” was released to promote the forthcoming Wiseman album and became a hit single that reportedly sold 14000 copies. Her famous lament of lost love paved the way for Kafula’s solo career as a cabaret artist fronting a variety of groups and cemented her place in music history as the “Godmother of Zambian Pop.”

In spite of foreboding skull and crossbones motif on the album artwork, a cursory back cover glance at the band photograph and original liner notes paint the picture of playful ensemble. The standout track “Sunshine & Rain” opens with a gloomy mood recalling Canadian Bonnie Dobson’s post-apocalyptic folk classic “Morning Dew” yet inverts expectations by painting a picture of a flourishing Zambian landscape of growth and optimism populated by happy children and farmers as well as city kids dressed in the latest fashions.

The Story of // FIREBALLS - Dots

Fireballs was founded by rhythm guitarist Michael Kafula in Kitwe and originally featured his nephew Jeff Mulenga as its frontman. Hailing from Wusakile, the original lineup rubbed shoulders with WITCH and Peace on the local scene and held equal sway. After recording a single with the band, Mulenga decamped to Lusaka and performed and recorded as Jeff & The Explosives, later releasing Journey to Kasama on executive producer Goodson Nguni's Flying Bird imprint in 1976. Fireballs managed a solitary LP release in the 1970s by way of the Zambia Music Parlour album On the Mountain in 1975. The set was recorded at Malachite Studios and featured Mike Kafula on vocals, rhythm guitar and organ alongside John Mulenga on lead guitar, Friday Mwile on bass and Brower Machuta on drums.

Dots is a remarkable unreleased recording that documents the On the Mountain lineup's return to Malachite Studios to record a second album in February 1978. In the booth were engineers Richard Hughes as well as Geoffrey Kachusha Mulenga, who had recorded the Amanaz Africa album in 1975. Mixed and sequenced but not slated for release, the album was soon forgotten and buried in time. Mike Kafula, however, held on tight to the master tapes until 2015 when he entrusted them to Canadian producer Jason Connoy, who designed the album's retroactive sleeve.

Between the release of On the Mountain and the recording of Dots, Fireballs had a fruitful relationship performing with funk and soul crooner Teddy Chisi, who had first enlisted the group for his Zambian Music Parlour recording Limbikani in 1975. By 1977, Chisi's backing band had evolved into an ensemble called the Mo-Solid Sounds and boasted a three-piece brass section. Chisi's influence on the Fireballs clearly rubbed off on Dots with the band taking bold risks in funk and Afrobeat territory and even adding a unique smattering of Zamrock saxophone.

The Story of // 5 REVOLUTIONS - I'm a Free Man


Alongside Tinkles and Blackfoot, 5 Revolutions was one of the core groups in the Zambia Music Parlour stable and owe their existence to the nurturing and support of Edward Godfrey Khuzwayo's Ndola-based label. The band produced a compelling trio of Zamrock titles as well as a litany of singles, rounding out their career in the 1980s as a kalindula band with the seminal release Kachasu Ne Ndoshi. From their gritty debut Boyfriends to the sultry Mrs. Brown, 5 Revolutions explored a singularly Zambian take on rock with their second album I'm a Free Man being the best starting point for those new to the band.

Hailing from Kitwe, 5 Revolutions emerged in the early 1970s after members of Morris Mwape's group Boyfriends migrated to the bands WITCH and Peace. Vocalist and lead guitarist Mwape responded by assembling a 5-piece follow-up with a fresh moniker alongside Abel Mukumbwe on rhythm guitar, Zion Lofwa on bass, John Chibuye on drums and Lovemore Sakala on percussion. Owing to the marketing cache of their original name, 5 Revolutions gave the title Boyfriends to their debut release of 1975 and nodded once more to their Boyfriends origins in parentheses in 1976 on cover of I'm a Free Man, which was designed by a renowned Zambian sculptor Flinto Chandia at the outset of his creative career.

While embracing the garage rock textures of overdriven guitars and washed-out organs, 5 Revolutions had little interest in remaining tethered to 4/4 rhythms but were less Pan-African than Musi-O-Tunya in respect to their black musical influences. Instead, they found a way of articulating an acutely Zambian rhythm in rock format and are attributed with creating the foundational template of kalindula. In a nutshell, roots kalindula played on traditional instruments in ceremonial settings migrated to the electric instruments of a stage band through the innovations of the 5 Revolutions. A case in point is the opening track of I'm a Free Man entitled “Mwapulumuka Kunjala Adaka,” which employs 6/7 polyrhythms and ends by evoking a village dance happening featuring celebratory whistles and the plucked single-note bass from which kalindula takes its name.

The Story of // OSCILLATIONS - I Can See It Coming

The band Oscillations was formed in the early 1970s among a group of schoolmates at Chililabombwe High School under the leadership of Victor Kunda Kasoma and went on to release a solitary album entitled I Can See It Coming on the Teal label in 1977. A self-taught guitarist, Kasoma was born in Wusakile in 1957. With the unexpected onset of partial paralysis at the age of 10, Kasoma was diagnosed with polio and progressively lost the use of his legs. Demonstrating a natural talent for music, he was encouraged by a teacher who successfully lobbied the school to provide the necessary equipment for his budding teen band.

By the mid-70s, the Oscillations had become a force to be reckoned with on the Kitwe live music scene, performing at community halls, mine clubs and agricultural shows alongside Keith Mlevhu-led rivals The End. Interested in virtuosity and showmanship, Kasoma explored performing while rolling on the ground and was accomplished at plucking strings with his teeth. With polio having mildly affected his arms and fingers, he developed a signature lead guitar technique that drew creativity from his disability and cemented his position on the shortlist of Zamrock’s greatest guitarists. Moreover, his original compositions presented on I Can See It Coming showcased the breadth of his unique abilities.

Recorded at Malachite Studios, I Can See It Coming features Emmanuel Masele on rhythm guitar, Sylvester Mwape Ngwira on bass and Christopher Juggie Tembo on drums. With a 4-minute guitar intro for the album opener “Request to God,” Kasoma’s instrument is firmly established as the driving force of the album and his guitar work is nothing short of astonishing. Notable too is the album’s illustrated cover evoking a warrior goddess archetype and the folk tale “Kapande” that tells the story of a hunter’s encounter with a monster in the forest.

WITCH in Zimbabwe // The Story of "Freedom Fighter"


At the outset of the 1980s, Jagari Chanda, vocalist and founding member of the WITCH, left the band and effectively brought an end to what is considered the group's Zamrock period. He had been joined in 1979 by an additional vocalist named Stanford Tembo, who had cut his teeth a decade earlier fronting a group called Suzie Q. Until Chanda's departure, Tembo would alternate with the WITCH stalwart, appearing in different sets or for different bookings depending on the venue and audience or at the request of promoters. Attending to the group on an ad hoc basis while still holding down a job as a lecturer at Kabwe Trades Training Institute, Tembo was part of an expanding lineup that became increasingly interested in exploring WITCH's potential as a vehicle for modern dance music in the vein of Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang. Also joining the existing core of Chris Mbewe on guitar, Gedeon Mulenga on bass and Boyd Sinkala on drums were two former bandmates from the group Guys & Dolls in the form of Patrick Mwondela on keyboard and Emmanuel Makulu on guitar. Rounding out the new WITCH family was Shaddick Bwalya, a producer who wrote compositions for the band and contributed backing vocals in the studio.

Patrick Mwondela (England - February 2021)

With the momentous shift to independence energising and drawing attention to their neighbouring country, WITCH looked to Zimbabwe (then still Rhodesia) as a new frontier in early 1980 and took on a residency at Mockey's Hotel in Bulwayo, the country's second largest city. It was here that Tembo was inspired to resurrect a composition that he had written a couple of years earlier about the independence struggle in Mozambique. Reflecting the political moment they were bearing witness to, WITCH added "Freedom Fighter" to their setlist with an English intro and new lyrics in Shona, Zimbabwe's most widely spoken language. Following a successful show at Bulawayo's Happy Valley Hotel alongside Zimbabwean rockers Wells Fargo, WITCH were invited to appear at a music festival at Gwanzura Stadium in the Rodesian capital. The event was part of the build-up to the official independence ceremony on 18 April 1980 that would showcase an appearance by Bob Marley & The Wailers at Rufaro Stadium.

Stanford Tembo (Lusaka, Zambia - July 2020)

It was at Gwanzura Stadium that "Freedom Fighter" would be responsible for one of WITCH's most memorable live appearances. When the song was played, a euphoric Zimbabwean crowd responded to the Shona lyrics by storming the stage and absconding with lead singer Tembo to conduct a spontaneous victory lap around the sports field on which the concert took place. The band held the rhythm until Tembo's return, whereupon he sang it from the top for good measure. WITCH took the opportunity to capture the zeitgeist and lay down the song at a studio in Harare but Tembo had to attend to work responsibilities at home in Kabwe and was unavailable for the session. As such, drummer Boyd Sinkala stepped in as vocalist on the recording. Released in Zimbabwe with Bwalya's B-side "Funky Reggae" catering to the enthusiasm for the Jamaican sound generated by Marley, the WIT 3 single along with ZIM 134 ("Tendayi" b/w "Vandigumbura") would be the last WITCH releases under the management of Teal. However, WITCH would continue to record in Zimbabwe and the cutting-edge Shed Studios of engineers Steve Roskilly and Martin Norris would be their HQ for crafting their final two independent releases.

Occupying a no-man's land between the WITCH's Zamrock and disco periods, "Freedom Fighter" is the missing link of the WITCH story and has not been anthologised until now. Unlocking the mystery of how the WITCH shifted shape at the beginning of the 1980s, the transition from the Prog sensibilities of their final rock offerings to the synth-licked beats that would characterise their boogie albums is documented here at 45RPM. Marking its 40th anniversary, a 2021 SHARP-FLAT reissue of "Freedom Fighter" is a welcome addition to the incredible efforts that have been made to restore and share the legacy of Zambia’s most cherished band.

DIGITAL SINGLE

KEITH KABWE // The Story of Drive Unit


Here is the short story of the Drive Unit band. The formation of the group began when Amanaz disbanded just after recording our only album Africa and some members of the band decided to go their own way. John left for Mufulira where he met a businessman who asked him to help form a band that was later called Who's Who in the Zoo. Isaac took the road that has no end and ended up a subsistence farmer. Jerry, Watts and I refused to bury our heads in the sand and recruited Ricky Banda on guitar and Webby Kausa on second guitar (from Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively). We connected ourselves to an Indian businessman called Mr. Tata, who owned a local retail shop with vinyl records who helped us record the singles "Watch Out" with "Dala" on the flip side and "Honest Woman" whose flip side has slipped my mind. The singles were played on the air frequently but alas what happened to Amanaz also happened to Drive Unit. History repeated itself and immediately after recording, Ricky and Webby went on their way. Jailos Mukubonda replaced them on guitar and we reverted to Amanaz for a month-long tour of Luapula Province and a few local shows sponsored by the social welfare department of the Ndola City Council. After the tour, the last page of the history of Amanaz was written. Watts and I jammed in other bands in Lusaka for a few gigs but I mostly turned to the business of repairing office machines, supplying stationery and providing secretarial services in the central arcade. I was there for 25 years and was successful. It was there that I was saved and called into the full time ministry of preaching the good news to the lost. I am doing the same today.
- Keith Kabwe, May 2020

The Story of "Zamrock!!" // The Zambian Rock Sound 1972-1978

A snapshot of the social and political backdrop of Zambia's rock music scene in the 1970s and a companion documentary to the eponymous 8LP vinyl boxset of May 2020. This short film weaves together interviews with ten artists and music industry professionals from the era and provides anecdotal insights into the creation and production processes of Zambia's burgeoning 1970s recording industry. The Story of "Zamrock!!" puts a face to some of Zambian rock's most cherished songwriters, presenting interviews with surviving members of Amanaz for the very first time and introducing the eccentric A&R executive Billie David Nyati of the independent Zambia Music Parlour label. Also featured are Zambia's first female recording artist Violet Kafula of Crossbones and physically challenged guitar wizard Victor Kunda Kasoma of Oscillations. Eschewing voiceovers or academic exposition, this short documentary is a refreshing insider window onto one of the 20th century's most compelling outsider rock scenes.

CROSSBONES // An Interview with Violet Kafula


Music came from my parents because my mother was a singer and my father used to play in a band called the Black Voice Quartet. When I was in primary school, my teacher thought I had a beautiful voice and encouraged me to sing. We had community clubs where children would go and exercise their talents. Every time I went, I told my mum that I was going to play netball but I would go to where the band was. I started rehearsing and singing and my mum didn’t know about it until one particular occasion when she knocked off from work. As she was passing the club, she recognised my voice. She gave herself away because she came in shouting, “She should not be singing! She’s just a young girl! She’ll never be married! She’ll never finish school!” Somebody warned me and I ran like nobody’s business, out the window of course, and disappeared home.

In 1971, after my national service, I joined Mwaiseni Stores in Lusaka. There was a group called Born Free and I used to hang out with them quite a lot. After work, I would follow them wherever they were and they asked me to sell tickets. I told them I could sing but they didn’t believe it until much later when Born Free merged with Crosstown Traffic (which was another rock band) to form the Crossbones. That’s when Nicky Mwanza said, “Ok, we’ll give you an opportunity to sing.” I was told to take three polished songs to perform at the Woodpecker Inn. I got the songs from the person I admired most when I was young - Miriam Makeba. So I chose “Malcolm X,” “Iphi Indlela” and “Pata Pata” and from then on I never looked back.

In early 1974, President Kaunda declared that he wanted mostly Zambian music to be played by our broadcasting services so we went into the studio. I was told, “You come up with two tracks. You can’t just be on backing vocals. You’re also a lead singer.” So I came up with “Mweba Lume Bandi” and “Say That You Love Me.” I remember when we were recording I was so embarrassed but the engineer, Nikki Ashley, encouraged me and said that the song was going to be a hit. Nikki and Graham Skinner at dB Studios said we should produce “Mweba Lume Bandi” first because the song would sell the album later on. And in two weeks, it sold about 14 000 copies. And it’s always been a hit. Up to now, it’s still a hit. That’s what made me the first female artist in Zambia because there were no female musicians on the scene.

Around 1975, there was an incident at the University of Zambia that I’ve never forgotten. They had been studying Leninism and Marxism and when I went there I sang “Malcolm X” and all hell broke loose. They wanted to pull me from the stage and the band had to stop playing and help me. They unzipped my boots so the crowd took my boots and I got away. On another occasion, “Mweba Lume Bandi” was playing on a jukebox and this guy shouts, “Look! She’s here!” The owner of the bar had to lift me up and throw me over the counter to save me from the crowd. I couldn’t work for three weeks so you can imagine what my mother was feeling. She kept on saying, “I told her this is not the line to go.”

Being part of Crossbones was a beautiful experience. They didn’t look at me as a female and I didn’t look at them as men (or boys at that time). I was one of them and we used to share jokes and adventures. When the WITCH came to Lusaka from the Copperbelt, they stayed in my house. We toured together and at a certain point we decided to be adventurous and form Crosswitch. I recall when we went to perform in Botswana, we stayed at Polytechnic College and the first show was at the University of Botswana. I never used to drink but the guys tricked me. They said that milk stout was not alcohol and gave me a can. Half way and I was drunk. I still had to perform and I managed to sing but when we got back to the college where we were staying, we found the guard was sleeping and we waited for almost 45 minutes. Then I said, “I will climb! I did national service!” It was a really high wire fence and they told me I wouldn’t manage but I said, “Wait and see!” So I climbed up nicely but when coming down I cut myself and still have a scar as a souvenir. When I went to shake this guy up, he was so shocked that he almost hit me with his baton. He knew he was alone there and couldn’t believe that anyone could climb inside. So that’s how naughty I was.

Wise Man holds a lot of sweet memories. From the time we were rehearsing to the time we went into the studio, the togetherness of the Crossbones band was marvellous. When we were recording, we were a group of six. Now almost everybody is gone. It’s just me in Lusaka and lead guitarist George Mlauzi in Livingstone. We are the only surviving members of the Crossbones. When I received the phone call from Jason Connoy of Strawberry Rain in Canada saying he wanted to reproduce the record, at first I was a bit hesitant. I said, “This is Zambia! Canada? How did you get the music?” And he explained his research and I thought it was a great idea. It’s so amazing and so touching because we never dreamed that our music would be recognised abroad. Maybe even Zambians will rediscover it now because Zamrock is forgotten and not really appreciated in Zambia. I’ve talked at length with George Mlauzi and what we would like to do is bring other musicians of the 70s on board and rehearse the music we were playing to see if we can do a tour. I think that would be beautiful.

Interview conducted by Calum MacNaughton in Lusaka in August 2013