lyrics & music: Humbert Carlos Benfica
Humberto Carlos Benfica, known as Wazimbo (born November 11, 1948), is one of the greatest voices of Mozambique and one of the most famous marrabenta singers. Born in Chibuto, Gaza Mozambique he moved to the capital - Lourenço Marques (today Maputo) - where he grew up in the popular neighborhood Mafalala. There he started as a vocal member for the local 'Silverstars' and then 'Geizers'. Later, he joined Orchestra Marrabenta Star.
Wazimbo started to sing in 1964 with the Mozambican group 'Silverstars' and continued as a singer with the Geiziers, performing a colonial mix of international pop music with a Brazilian tinge in Mocambique´s capital, Maputo, city that was very famous to the South Africans citizen by the time.
In 1972 Wazimbo signed his first contract as a professional singer and moved for two years to Angola. In 1974, he returned and participated actively in the African Music Association. After the independence, Wazimbo worked with the big band of the national radio, "Radio Mocambique". He became the lead vocalist of Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique in 1979 and worked with various members from the big band of RM. Led by the main vocalist Wazimbo, Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique developed a full and funky style of marrabenta featuring electric guitars, powerful horn lines and soulful vocals.
After becoming extremely popular at home in Mocambique, they toured in Europe and released two CD's on Germany's "Piranha label". Both showcased a varied mix of dance styles plus the occasional, strikingly soulful ballad. The 90´s saw a return to peace in Mozambique, but by then there were no recording studios or music venues, and the group finally disbanded in 1995.
One of the most famous work of this artist is the ballad Nwahulwana ('night bird'), released in 1988. The song was featured first in a Microsoft commercial in California and in 2001 was part of the song track for the movie 'The Pledge' directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson.
In the song, Wazimbo expresses some sadness on the lifestyle of a wonderful young lady who he refers as "his sister - Maria" wasting her life having a different man every night.
Some excerpts of the song can be translated as: "You are a night bird, moving after dark from bar to bar."
The credits for this song are released as Wazimbo & Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique.
The song is about Maria, beautiful young lady, who has a different man every night."Nwahulwana" (Night Bird). "You are a night bird, moving after dark from bar to bar. My sister, how long will you count men in the streets? If you continue like this, my darling, who will want to marry you?" And so he continues to express his sadness at her lifestyle, and how she is wasting her life
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