When I was a little girl my parents bought a CD for my brother and I. We had lots of music of all sorts, but this CD was special. It was entitled “Gift of the Tortoise” by a band called Ladysmith Black Mambazo. My brother and I (especially me) were entranced by the beauty of the music and the stories, starting a lifelong love of world music.
The songs and stories are presented as a continuous narrative presented by the narrator, a tortoise named Fudugazi (Gcina Mhlope). Fudugazi paints a vivid picture of rural South Africa at the tail end of Apartheid, and what is no doubt true today. Listeners will be struck by the simplicity of the children’s joys, treats are bananas and apples, a dress makes a little girl living far from her father happy.
While some of the stories evoke aminism (“Rain Dance”) parents have no need for worry, this is presented as a simple folk belief. (The founder and lead singer of of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala is a devout Christian.) The stories and songs are educational and informative with a special morality tale included. The songs are catchy, but in no way irritating. Don’t be surprised if you hear your kids chanting “Kanje Kanje” or the Zulu parts of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
In a word, buy this CD, you won’t regret it!
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Mondays and Fridays.