Msaki x Tubatsi drop their earthy, atmospheric collaborative single and video, “Zibonakalise”

Double SAMA 2022 winner Msaki and Tubatsi Mpho Moloi (of Urban Village) recently joined forces recently for an extensive collaboration. There’s a full album yet to come, but for now they’ve delivered a sample of what you can expect from the project and “Zibonakalise” is a staggering first look. 

The track title translates as “show yourself” and serves as half prayer to the ancestors, half solution seeking to the unclarity of life. Penned in response to the pandemic and navigating the world in its gritty aftermath, “Zibonakalise” is an impressively moving offering–searingly touching in spite of any language barriers between listener and song. 

Hinged on atmospheric acoustics, earthy African textures and rich vocals pegged against the blunted strum of a singular guitar, the track unspools with stripped, minimalist grace. It’s uplifting, dexterously intricate and rousing all at once. And the video, shot by up and coming South African director Sanaa is the visual poetry to top it all off. 

It’s shot in portrait mode, so you’d be better served to watch it on your phone, and navigates three elements (water, earth and fire) in bringing the track to life. Cool colour captures a woman dancing, knee deep on the shores of a lake. A young boy kicks up dust and cuts shapes on a rural dirt road, while a man dances what can only be some form of a war dance around the fire, dressed in skins, sparks in his eyes. 

It’s a deeply emotive and entirely compelling offering, packed with multifold layers of sound and scope. That album is certainly going to be something.

Feature pic by Kgomotso Neto