To quote a statement from her YouTube channel, Vimbai Zimuto’s music “is a modernised traditional Zimbabwean sound that’s so rich with beautiful instrumentation, (and) also lyrically pregnant”. Do we agree with that precis holistically? We may not; not that it matters or changes anything.
However, one fact remains unaltered: the artist the world recognises as Vimbai Z keeps on dropping visuals that most people consume with so much gusto and there is no doubt of her importance to the culture. In fact, she has mastered how to mind-blowingly utilise the evolving medium of visuals. She continues to be more influential, more prolific and more famous with every release. She is an icon, an art masterclass and a womxn of the world.
For all her idiosyncrasy, she is no dummy. She knows what we want, what we need, and frankly, she sees nothing wrong with doing it on the big screen where everyone could see. Her music and pictures on Instagram of late emote crass sexiness and crude déshabillé that only a few African artists could pull off with no serious career injury.
Tell you what, she is not holding back. On her new visual instalment “Handigone” starring South Africa-based Zimbabwean actor Leroy Gopal, the sexpot diva keeps it steamy, slow and simple. Cloaking a little over five minutes, the jam got a bedroom-friendly beat, some sexy synth laced with mbira scales and straightforward, unapologetic lyrics (unlike some of her songs in which the art of making love is creatively compared to, um, Kupakichwa, whatever that mean).
But what’s great about the song is that its sugar-sweet sentiment is completely convincing and beguiling. Vimbai weaves an entrancing spell, dropping knotty, mystical lyrics (Lay down in this carriage, let me woo you) over a silky neo-soul groove that over all too soon.
While Leroy’s performance is unquestionably stunning, it doesn’t make up for the video’s overarching shortcomings. Where it’s supposed to be the kind of song we meant to set on repeat, slide back on the couch and fall in to while counting down the lockdown, it kind of hit below the knee. Director Andy Cutta, for all his top-drawer reputation, could have delivered a better material – direction-wise, building a dope storyline (we get it, it’s a lockdown video but…) and general colour grading.
As for sis, if we are to use Hapana Kwaunoenda as a paradigm, it appears she never really came close to bettering (maybe she never really need to), though she certainly tried to out-sex it with a hotter reynard. Ladies would consider pretending to drown just so Leroy could jump in and save the day. If you don’t replay the steamy scene where he grabs Vimbai’s ham and draws her close more than at least once, what are you doing? Do you see that body?! And those eyes? And just everything about him?
That being said, Vimbai is stiff or perchance was nervous to be around Leroy. I mean, his abs and sexy physique are well enough to give “eye candy” a whole new meaning. If a crude juxtaposition could be allowed here, Vimbai in Handigone’s case, strikingly profiles as that hunk in the trunk dude from Ammara Brown’s Akiliz video that y’all trashed for pertinacity.
All I’m saying is, we anticipated more when we heard Vimbai Z, Leroy and Cutter. What we got is a bit glum but we will still take it because, well, you get what you deserve and we are talking of an artist whose bag of surprises never runs dry. Remember what her response was when Acie Lumumba asked her what her favourite love language was on #TLFDrive Ep 8?
Aha, pass through that avenue on your way to watch this new, incredibly fair Handigone video here or below.