Wazimbo, born Humberto Carlos Benfica on November 11, 1948, is one of the most famous voices of Mozambique. A performer of marrabenta, an energetic dance music which grew out of Mozambique in the 1930s and 40s, he is featured here in a more melancholic mood, reminiscent of the Portuguese fado. While recording dance tunes with the Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique, Wazimbo began to sing during a break in between sessions. He didn’t expect anyone to be listening, but the tape was still running. Later, in the studio, producers would find this intimate track which became his signature piece. Nwahulwana, Night Bird, is a lament for Maria, a beautiful woman who flits from bar to bar and man to man, wasting herself. We hear Wazimbo’s lyrical and soulful voice and gentle guitar in a performance that is striking in its simplicity and complete lack of artifice.
Video via PiranhaMusik on YouTube.