Ilanga is one of the best musical groups to emerge from Zimbabwe. Composed of talented vocalists and instrumentalists, the group hogged the limelght in the 1980s and early 1990s with the hits 'Tshotsholoza' and 'Joy, Love and Happiness. The group's name is Ndebele word meaning, Sunrise.

Music career

The group started their musical journey in 1986 with members who had left various bands.The group initially had Andy Brown, Don Gumbo and Brian Paul. The former was coming out from a brief stint with the Rusike Brothers. After forming the band, the trinity went on to release two singles, Thandiwe and Song of Africa which were deemed unimpressive.[1] However, the group was spiced up when Chinx Chingaira, Keith Farquharson and Joseph Mosias Munyaradzi Brown (from Barel of Peace), Adam Chisvo and Busi Ncube joined the band. The band went on to record popular albums, Visions Foretold and Silver and Gold that propelled them to stardom. The group became one of the best in Zimbabwe with their top charting hits. The group's succes saw them feature at national events such as the 1988 Human Rights Concert in Harare were they shared the stage with Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and the Bhundu Boys.[2] The group's fame, however, was short lived as it disbanded in 1989 with the members pursuing solo careers.

Solo Careers

  • Andy Brown

After the group split, Brown went to South Africa where he played as a session artist for various musicians including Ringo Madlingozi. The latter once said : "Andy Brown is, in my opinion, the best guitarist in the world."[3] When he came back he formed the group, 'The Storm'. The band recorded many albums such as With this group, he released albums such as 'Feed Me, 'Gondwanaland', 'Tiger' and 'Hondo Yesadza. The band went on to release may hits which includes 'Many Cows', 'Mawere Kongonya', 'Tichangoshaina' and 'Mapurisa.

  • Cde Chinx

Chinx also went to become his own man. Soon after ilanga disbanded, After a short stint with Ilanga he moved on to team up with the then Mazana Black Spirits(now Mazana Movement Band). The band went on to release smash hits with the notable being Roger Confirm. The latter topped the charts and stayed on the then Radio 3’s Hitpick(now Power FM Hitlist) charts for 25 weeks in 1989 and early 1990.[4]

  • Busi Ncube

Busi went on to create the band Rain, which lasted a good 12 years. She then relocated to Oslo, Norway where she teaches music at Majorstua School.

  • Keith Farquharson

He relocated to South Africa where he is working with South African Outfit, Freshly Ground.


There were reports that the band would reunite and bring the yesteryear glory. However this was damped by the death of the band's key members and the distance between the living members. It was only in 2012 that one of the founding members Busi Ncube said there were no longer any prospects of a reunion.[5]


  1. Wonder Guchu, Andy Brown is always angry - maybe with the media, Intimacy with Zim Musicians, Published: 22 Sep 2011, Retrieved: 2 May 2014
  2. Last FM, Biography, Last FM, Published: ND, Retrieved: 2 May 2014
  3. Staff Reporter, assisted burial for Andy Brown, New Zimbabwe, Published: 17 Mar 2012
  4. Fred Zindi, The magic behind Ilanga, The Herald, Published: 27 Feb 2012, Retrieved: 2 May 2014
  5. Silence Charumbira, Ilanga reunion dream shattered, The Standard, Published: 16 Dec 2012, Retrieved: 2 May 2014