Jeys Marabini

Jeys Marabini: The Man, The Music

Jeys Marabini the man, the music Born in Felabusi, Matebeleland South, Zimbabwe, having fast established himself as one of the best musicians to come out of Zimbabwe.

Born in Felabusi, Matebeleland South, Zimbabwe, educated at Dekezi Primary School and later Dekezi Secondary School, Jeys Marabini born Majahadowa Ndlovu had an ordinary life and childhood. Which had glimmers and moments of magic where his musical and creative talents shined through from an early age. From singing in the school choir to performing alongside worldwide international acts such as Yosindo, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, TKZ, Hugh Masekela, Habib Koite, Peter Gabriel just to mention a few. Jeys Marabini is a man with a pure love of music that has carried Zimbabwean music and culture all over the world.

Inspired by the success of groups like Black Umfolosi, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jeys Marabini traces his music history from as far as the 1980s as a primary school student at Dekezi Primary School where he had enrolled in 1981 for grade 1. This is where his vocal abilities were discovered by a school teacher by the name of Jonathan Muthunzi. Jeys Marabini explains how Jonathan Muthunzi had been hearing him sing with his friends and saw how gifted Jeys was at singing, that he got him into the school choir. Which with the leadership of Jonathan Muthunzi saw the school choir go out and win many local and inter-schools competitions. Jeys Marabini shares with us that through these competitions the school choir won he was really inspired to sing and also motivated by his teacher to peruse a musical career.

Jeys Marabini explains how he first got into the local Zimbabwean music scene with his first group “God’s Singers” founded in 1990. Which was a Mbube group composed of only males, the group’s performances included their own songs, cover songs of Lady Smith and traditional dances such as Hosana, Sitshikitsha, and Amabhiza. In accordance with the traditional way that Mbube groups were only composed of males only. He explains that his group performed at prize-giving ceremonies, local shows, and completions, where they won various prizes and this further spurred him towards his decision to perusing a musical career after school.

In 1991 Jeys Marabini found a group called the Comforting Brothers made up of four members namely Gift Mpofu, Mulungisi Dlodlo, Sabelo Hliziyo and Majahadowa Ndlovu aka Jeys Marabini. The group grew from there and got many more members and rose to fame and invaded the city of Bulawayo. In 1992 the group changed its name to Mbizo, Mbizo which was one of the strongest regiments in King Mzilikazi’s Ndebele army and the inspiration behind the group’s name. Mbizo went international, touring in a lot of different countries in Europe. In 1999 he partnered with Louise Harding to form Equator Promotions Company in the UK that introduced several Zimbabwean musicians and groups like Mbizo, Albert Nyathi, Siyaya, and Olben Moyo to the international scene.

Jeys Marabini on the December 2015 KA Magazine cover
Jeys Marabini on the December 2015 KA Magazine cover

In 2002, Jeys decided it was time to go solo and it was then that JEYS Jeys Marabini was born. Returning to his roots in Zimbabwe, Jeys rediscovered a new sound recording his first album Emarabini. From pure Accapella to guitars, drums, and strings, Jeys again proved that he was the epitome of hard work and resilience. The popular album was followed by other albums Thuthukani Ngothando (Grow with love), Sound Of Today and Tomorrow, Izenzo (Deeds) and later Jeys @ 40.

Having fast established himself as one of the best musicians to come out of Zimbabwe, Jeys Marabini has a new album out. In this new offering, titled SILO, and recorded and produced by 10th District Music in 2013, Jeys returns with a mature sound, calm and rich with rhythms that will appeal to any music lover. SILO is a Ndebele word that describes character, strength and heroism, which is what inspires the listener. There could be no better music to reintroduce Zimbabwe’s most unsung musical hero and legend to the entire world than SILO. His recent international tour took him to Austria ́s Roots Music from Southern Africa in 2012 and 2013 respectively.