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Culture Editor's Picks Music Opinion Reviews

Eli Njuchi stings hard

EP: The Book of Z
Artist: Eli Njuchi
Year of release: 2020
Reviewer: Mayamiko Seyani

Eli Njuchi is one of those that have exceeded my expectations. The maturity of the subject matter in his music, supersedes his age. I find it to be the material that the likes of Physics should be rapping about if he wasn’t singing about Zibwente.

An interesting thing about The Book of Z is that all the song titles start with the letter Z. although in some instances, the tittles seem like they were forced but it is an interesting idea.

The song opens with Zisunge a song that seems to have been dedicated to his young sister Yankho. The song is full of counsel and adoration to his young sister. The song is a calm laid back track that you listen on a lazy day. Although the songs production is on point with a good rhythm to it, it sounds very personal to him such that it is a bit hard for other people to relate. As such, I don’t think it was a wise decision to make it the opening track in his EP.

Zitheke is an up-beat song that was produced by Blage. This song talks about the struggle to get money. The message in this song is relatable to most listeners no wonder it is the most popular song in the EP. The song talks about a hardworking man who is willing to work many jobs just to make ends meet. A man that’s trying to get his money back from his creditors and is trying to get paid just to make ends meet.

Eli Njuchi Cham’ma one Ndine Venda
Cham’ma Two ndine Conductor
Past Three Ndine Bus Driver
Tidutseko bwino zingade
Bwino Uko Bwino Magazi Udzandipeza Nditasenza Thumba
Ndimete anthu Twenty Before ten bar.

Zilu (short for Zilungamo) is song where the persona is a victim of domestic oppression. The persona complaisn about the loss of love and how her partner changed.
Mesa Munkandikonda Mesa Munkandikonda
Nanga Bwanji Lero Mwasintha Zilungamo!
Bwanji Lero Mwasintha Zilungamo
Mesa Munkandikonda Mesa Munkandikonda
Nanga Bwanji Lero Mwasintha Zilungamo!
Bwanji Lero Mwasintha Zilungamo

This is one of the song which feels like the title was forced just to make sure it starts with Z. I personally have an issue with a male artist performing as a female persona. As much as this song is good, it could have been written for Sangie or Temwa.

Zitaye is song that talks about an abusive relationship. It tells the victim to let it go while it tries to make him/ her realise his worth. This song that was produced by Yesaya has a laid back feeling yet it has a bass and a kick that makes it a danceable tune at the same time which makes it nice to play it twice.

Zitatu is a heart break song that talk about the time he messed up and lost Annie, the girl he loved. It also chronicles his rise to fame in relation to how he treated her and how pride crippled their relationship.
Zithe a song that has a trap yet old school Ragga Muffin beat, is about gratitude. It talks about how he is grateful to Jah (God) and his fans for taking him this far. He also calls for fire to burn all that don’t wish him well. It is one of those songs that he displayed an impeccable skill in his delivery.

Z is a song that talks about death. This is a subject a few are willing to sing about. Njuchi narrates how the events on the day he is going to pass on are going to unfold. He narrates how his friends and family are going to be heartbroken by his death. It is one of those songs that really shows his maturity as an artist. Although this is not a happy song, it is a very good song in the whole compilation.

Verdict: The compilation fits very well as an Ep, it has massive display of talent from the artist, also has very meaningful songs with themes that can be mirrored in most of his fans. Eli Njuchi has filled a certain void in the Malawian dancehall world. He has proven you can be a dancehall artist and be audible. That even without patois one can have a good dancehall song. I am looking forward to more of Njuchi stings. I will give this EP 8 out of 10.

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