Green Arrows

The Green Arrows Band is a Zimbabwean band that was a favourite of many yesteryear music fans after they sang hits like 'Chipo Chiroorwa' and 'Chimwamuna Chamimba'. It was founded by the legendary musician Zex Manatsa. The band played as a supporting act to Bob Marley during Zimbabwe's Independence celebrations in 1980 at Rufaro Stadium in Mbare, Harare.

Background

The Green Arrows was formed in 1968 as a backing group to other prominent singers. It was bassist and vocalist Zex Manatsa that formed the group in Mhangura together with his younger brother. They began as Mambo Jazz Band performing covers until they decided to relocate to Bulawayo and that is where they came up with the name Green Arrows. They started composing and performing their own music in 1972 and that is when they met South African saxophonist West Nkosi and became their producer.[1]

Their Journey

1972, the Green Arrows began writing their own songs to mass appeal. South African saxophonist West Nkosi, who was also a consultant for Gallo Records, discovered the band and became their producer in the 70s. The resulting album in, “Chipo Chiroorwa”, sold so well and the band moved to the capital city of Harare in 1977. Their success continued in the 1970s and 80s, as they continued to produce well-received tours and hit records due to their combination of political and gospel lyrics with polyrhythmic grooves.[2]

In the 1970s and 80s, the group released many tracks which have proved to be all-time hits such as “Chipo Chiroorwa”, “Bambo Mwakwatila”, “Vaparidzi Vawanda”, “Mwana Waenda”, “Chechule Anavala Bottom”, and “Chimwamuna Chamimba”. (The use of Malawian language in some of their compositions was to appeal to the Malawians who in those days made up the majority of the migrant labour force in Zimbabwe).

The Green Arrows became the first group to record an LP in Zimbabwe and one of their tracks broke records staying in the No. 1 position of the country's music charts far longer than any that came before them and no other group have beaten them to this day. They were one of the first bands to attract music industry interest by blending the traditional music of Zimbabwe (which was then Southern Rhodesia at the time) with the pop genres that had been imported by colonialism.

Original Members

  • Zex Manatsa (Band Leader, Composer, Bassist, Vocalist)
  • Stanley Manatsa (Lead Guitarist)
  • Givas Bernard (Guitar, Bassist)
  • Fulton Chikwati (Rhythm Guitarist)
  • Fanyana Dube (Guitar)
  • Raphael Mboweni (Drummer)
  • Wilfred Nyoni (Backing Vocalist)
  • Abel Takavarasha a.k.a Mabhengwani (Vocalist/Dancer)
  • Sabastian Manatsa (Rhythm Guitar,Bassist, Vocalist)

Discography

May 1974 Teal Records Co.

  • Shamwari Yangu Unoyendepi
  • Hama
  • Chitima Nditakure
  • Shamwari Usanyepe

October 1974 Gallo Records Co.

  • Chipo Chiroorwa
  • Hwahwa
  • Mwana Wangu Kurauone

May 1975 Gallo Records.

  • Mwana Waenda
  • Nyaya Iyi Inondishamisa

November 1975

  • Towering Inferno
  • Dinner will not delay
  • Doro renyu
  • Nhengure
  • Amai Mandida
  • Bambo Makwatila
  • Vabereki vedu
  • Chinyamutondo

January 1976 Gallo Records

  • Chechule Wavala Bottom
  • Chaita Mumwe
  • Kwankwala Wamanta
  • Takura Gona
  • Irombe
  • Vakomana Vaye
  • Ndarota Ndiina Amai
  • Wasara Wasara
  • Musango Mune Hangaiwa

May 1976 Gallo Records

  • Infalilibe Chisoni
  • Nkamwini Alibe Mwayi
  • Indian Bambu Jive
  • Mabhena
  • Kadeya-deya

October 1976 Gallo Records

  • Hama Huyai Muzofara
  • Zuva Richauya Baba
  • Hallelujah - (Ngatinamateyi)
  • How could i love
  • My Pretty Angel
  • Zarura Musuwo Ishe Apinde
  • Brothers & Sisters

March 1977 Gallo Records:

  • Musoro Wanstomba
  • Ndakaberekwa (W.Nyoni)
  • Ndiyo Nzira YeRudo
  • Tombi Huya neChikwama
  • Gambukambu
  • Nherera Zvichengete
  • Hurungwe
  • Amai Masese Musataye

Oct 1977 Gallo Records:

  • Christmas yasvika
  • Chaminuka
  • Ndoro Nhema
  • Chengetanai
  • Chimamuna Chile
  • Zuva rabuda

Nov 1977 Gallo Records:

  • Ndonobaya bere
  • Musango mune hangaiwa
  • Chisi chako masimba mashoma
  • Mundoza

April 1978 Gallo Records:

  • Zimba Rakanaka
  • Nyama Yekugocha
  • Madzangaradzimu
  • Hama dzapera
  • Musadandaure
  • Chimamuna Chamimba

Sept 1978 Gallo Records:

  • Nyoka yendara
  • Dzamuningwa
  • Vaparidzi vawanda
  • Pamusoroi Madzimai

Dec 1978 Gallo Records:

  • Guhwa
  • Tsuro

April 1979 Gallo Records:

  • Tochema vana vevanhu
  • Iri Ziyoni
  • Zuva rabuda
  • Hwenya kwese
  • Dzepfunde
  • Vachaita musangano
  • Zambuko

November 1979

  • Atsamunda
  • Pachikaranga
  • Mukoma Nhongo
  • Zano Ndoga
  • Masese musataye
  • Rugare
  • Imi vana vangu

April 1980 Gallo records:

  • Vatema tave kutonga
  • Vacharipa
  • Dzepfunde
  • Makorokoto Zimbabwe
  • Takabatana
  • Tungamidzai Mudzimu Mberi
  • VaMugabe Votonga
  • Kuroora kunoreva hukama
  • Munopururudza
  • Kutonga Madzoro
  • Amainini Makaenda paBarika
  • Mawira Mombe
  • Mateu 22:7
  • Baba timirireiwo
  • Dhi haiwa Dhikondo
  • Mvonga mupopoto
  • Kuruzevha vakomana
  • Kaverevere naye
  • Mwana weTsoko
  • Iwe Monida

1981 Gramma Records:

  • Chidzviki
  • Comrade tambayi makachenjera
  • Zvido zveVapambepfumi
  • Chivaraidze
  • Kuudza amai huroyi
  • Dzvinyu kuzambira zuva
  • Mwari wakatadza
  • Zviri muGuruve
  • MaComrades zviwororo
  • Seka urema wafa
  • Siya wawoneka
  • Chakafukidza dzimba
  • Musasamba

1982 Gramma Records:

  • Tea Hobvu
  • Musi oya tunya
  • Siya wakuya
  • Kufa kweMujoni
  • Mangwanani
  • Tsuro ari muGrey (Vanoda kutamba neGreen Arrows)

1983 Gramma Records:

  • Antonio
  • Waaitamba naye
  • Murume wandaona
  • Mudzimu Ichakupa Chete
  • Gore renzara( A.Takavarasha & Green Arrrows)
  • Kugarorova Amai( Sabastian Manatsa & the Green Arrows)
  • Kuwirirana kwevanodanana
  • Tamukurira Satani
  • Tipeiwo Ndege

1984 Gramma Records:

  • Tizorodzei baba
  • Ushamwari weHwahwa
  • Imhepo
  • Mudumbu muchitoro
  • Zvandakarota
  • Mbiri yaenda
  • Kunosara mhondi
  • Sekuru Peter naWinnie
  • Hupenyu hwemurume
  • Vana vangu ndinokudai

1985 Gramma Records:

  • Muti usina zita
  • Vana vangu handidi mutambure
  • Macomrades (Givas & the Green Arrows)
  • Baba Tipeiwo Ndege

1986 Gramma Records:

  • Ngororombe
  • VanaMai nanaBaba (Zex & Sebastian Manatsa)
  • Kugarorova Amai (Sabastian Manatsa)
  • Mwanakomna waMwari - Bhasikoro
  • Wapusa wapusa
  • Mwanasikana chiroorwa
  • Gonzo ndishefu
  • Gumbo rembeva
  • Gona

1987 Gramma Records:

  • Tsuro Soccer Star
  • Highlander
  • Makepekepe
  • Vabereki
  • Dynamos
  • Zim Saints
  • Zvivindi makazvitorepi
  • Imbaiwo dzimbo dzeChimurenga
  • Mudzimu haishorwe

1988 Gramma Records:

  • Accident
  • Varapi
  • Zvinoitika muhupenyu
  • Handisini ndakaimba kuti Jah

1989 Gramma Records:

  • Vana vangu
  • Sandura Commissioner
  • Kubatana Part 1 & Part 2

1992 Gramma Records

  • Bhutsu size 20
  • Zodwa
  • Chakafukidza dzimba

1997

  • Mawungira Ekudzoka kwake (Album)
  • Ruoko rwaMwari
  • Ishe Jesu

1998 Gramma Records/Shed Studios

  • Mavambo (Album)

2002 Tuku Music:

  • Mutungamiri Akanaka(Album)
  • Simukai
  • Jesu wee
  • Magumo
  • Mubairo
  • Ruoko
  • Vhangeri
  • Rudo
  • Huyai tirumbidze (ft Aaron Manatsa)

2005 Shed Studios

  • Ndizvo zvandiri (Album)
  • Ndinogamuchira
  • Kunamata
  • Anotikomborera
  • Kunamata
  • Rudo rwako mkadzi wangu

V/A Compilation

  • Independence Special (1983)
  • Zimbabwe Frontline (1995)


Gallery

Tea Hobvu
Live Performance
Live 1
The Leader


References

  1. Freedom Manatsa, [1], Facebook, Published: 27 March, 2020, Accessed: 23 March, 2020
  2. Aaron Manatsa, [2], Manatsa Music, Accessed: 23 April, 2020