Busi Ncube

Busi Ncube was (born 15 June 1963). She is one of the founding members of the Afro-Fusion Band Ilanga, regarded as the most talented musical group to emerge from Zimbabwe music scene as it had good and versatile vocalists and instrumentalists.


Busi comes from Bulawayo and is a mother of two children Tendayi and Angela.[1]

Music career

Busi Ncube comes from a family with a strong musical background. Her father, Sunday Ncube, played double bass and provided the vocals in township jazz band in Bulawayo in the early 60s. When Busi was 12, she and seven of her (Ncube) sisters sang as a choir, both in choral church music and for traditional and other ceremonies. From a very young age, Busi was playing percussion and ngoma. She later went on to perform with her twin sister Pathie (Sipathisiwe) and their older sister Doreen in the group Ebony Sheik. She joined the band Ilanga in 1987 after she went to Harare to visit her sister, Doreen, who was singing with The Pied Pipers Band.

Ilanga Band

She joined the band Ilanga in 1987 after she went to Harare to visit her sister, Doreen, who was singing with The Pied Pipers Band.Ilanga was formed in 1986 by musicians who had grouped together after leaving their various groups. It was originally made of Don Gumbo, Andy Brown, Virgillio Ignacia, Gibson Nyoni, Charles Mangena, Keith Farquharson and Busi Ncube. When Mangena left he was replaced by the late Adam Chisvoas the percussionist.[2] Ilanga went to record their first single “Thandiwe” which was produced and released on One World Label by Ben Miller, a veteran rock musician who owned a 16-track recording studio. Although this record was popular with local disc jockeys, it did not make a great deal of impact on the sales market. Undaunted, however, Ilanga continued to record “Song of Africa” and a few months later, “Botha”. The latter tune was taken by the Zimbabwe Music Corporation and promoted heavily, resulting in a slightly more improved market success. In 1987, the album “Visions Foretold” was recorded and its releases put Ilanga on the music map and one track “Shosholoza” and Munya left Ilanga after some disagreement on the direction of the music to form his own band, Transit Crew. Ilanga was later joined by a new drummer, Gibson Nyoni. Their next massive release, “True Love”, came with the melodious voice of Busi on lead vocals. This was followed by the recording of their next album “Silver and Gold”, which saw the decline of Ilanga as it failed to capture the same magic waves and impact the first album had. It was immediately after the release of “Silver and Gold” that Andy Brown decided to leave Ilanga after a dispute with Don Gumbo. The band was later joined by a second keyboard player, Vigilio. Later releases include “Ilanga Road” which had some good tunes but failed to make an impact on the market. Keith also left the group straight after recording this album and by 1991 only Don Gumbo remained as the original member of Ilanga that was the end of Ilanga Band. Andy Brown went to base himself in South Africa but soon returned to Zimbabwe after recording the hit album, “Gondwanaland”, which rocked the Zimbabwean charts for almost six months with hits such as “Tichangoshaina” and “Zindoga”. Don Gumbo died in 1998 and Andy Brown died in 2013.<ref>Fred Zindi, The magic behind Ilanga, The Herald, Published: February 27, 2012, Retrieved: July 11, 2014</ef>

Solo career

On leaving Ilanga she formed her own band, Rain, which lasted for 12 years. Her latest album, “Salundela”, is getting rave reviews in Europe. The CD was released under the Ethnikk Music Club label and is distributed by Norway Plateompaniet.no. The national newspaper Aftenposten.no has placed this album as the best CD coming out of Africa.


Busi is currently based in Norway where she teaches music at the Oslo Music Academy in the Pedagogisk Department.


  1. Norway-based Busi Ncube to perform at Esigodini, The ZimDiaspora, Published: April 22, 2013, Retrieved: July 11, 2014
  2. Silence Charumbira, Ilanga reunion dream shattered, The Standard, Published: December 16, 2012, Retrieved: July 11, 2014