Read Between the Rhythm
“When you have passion you have the will and the way to your destiny.”
If you’ve ever been fortunate to see this group live, you’ll know their passion for their music is palpable and it is impossible to stay seated while they are on stage. Self-taught and clearly in possession of extraordinary talents, Savannah Afros includes a group of songwriters, performing artists and social activists, namely Tapz, Slick and Nyasha.
Their sound is so sublime that they are fast becoming a top act to see in Namibia and have earned themselves a reputation for getting the crowd foot stopping, swaying and wrapped up in their sounds. 99FM’s MYD Art sat down with musical activist and the founder of the group, Tapz to talk about passion and music that speaks to your soul.
99FM’s MYD Art asked :
How did the group Savannah Afros come about?
“We were all students at the Zimbabwe College of Music when I decided to invite the other two members to start a group. We were invited to perform in the Crossroads National Final in Zimbabwe, which we won. After that we competed as the group in the Crossroads Interregional Final against groups from other countries, here we came second. This accomplishment motivated us. We then knew we were doing something right and must push to reach our goals. We knew then that we had something to deliver to the world. Since we began in 2011 we have had the passion but what we have lacked is the support and the resources sometimes. However we did have the support of our parents. This made such a difference to us because knowing that our parents were listening and wanting us to succeed pushed us forward, even in difficult times. ”
Your music is described as a telling of your own stories, trials, and learning?
“We grew up in a middle class society. We could see what was happening in the lower and higher class societies. There were people who could not afford as much as we had, yet we had nothing. We started writing about what we saw. Through the truthfully telling of our stories and the stories of those around us we found out who we are, where we came from and where we were going. This kept us true to ourselves.
We also know that love and hate, are themes that are universal no matter what part of society you come from. These are the real life facts that we all share with one another when we talk in our communities, but sometimes you need to look deeper, behind the issue, there is a story. A story that needs to be told. People relate to our music and our self-written songs because they speak of all our stories. True stories.”
Would you say you are passionate about what you do?
“Yes. For me, before I go on stage I take the time to really thing about the elements of my set. Seeing the meaning to be conveyed in each song. I need to express the meaning of my songs even if they are being sung in another language. So that we all understand the music that is speaking. I have often had people tell me that they understood what I was singing about even if it’s in another language. This is the feeling of music when it speaks. I’ve even had people tell me after a show that the music we are making is sometimes more needed than a blanket. I believe this to mean that there are people dying to receive this message, to know that they are the captain of their souls.”
“Passion is all it takes to reach your destiny. When you have passion you have the will and the way to your destiny. Passion is the engine to success.”
How did the name Savannah Afros come about?
Tapz laughs at this questions and says “This is something we get asked all the time. It’s funny because we all have dread locks in the group, we’ve never had afros.
The name, I came up with, before the group even started because we are from the savannah part of Africa and we do African music. More than that, we tell African stories to the world. So it’s us, the people of the Southern part of Africa narrating African stories. That’s what our name is all about.”
“We want to take the band to the world. We are African, we want to tell our stories to the world. So our next step is the world. As long as people have not heard our self-penned stories, then we still have work to do.
Our music does not belong to us. It’s the people’s music. It’s for them and telling their and our stories.”