Mbira Feature

Ever wondered what comes up as the most popular video when you search for ‘mbira’ on YouTube? Well, I did wonder, made the search and found some very interesting results.

Arguably, YouTube has become a platform on the forefront of exposure to different types of stuff happening around the world. Things like Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake have gone viral world wide largely due to YouTube, I doubt they would have come to my attention that easily without it! So in the context of the YouTube era, I wanted to know the most popular mbira video. Drum roll, here is what I found out!

The search produced a variety of videos some of which I struggled to connect with why they had come up under the mbira search except that someone had just tagged them mbira for a reason known only to them! As such, i decided to focus on the videos which logically had a connection to mbira. I prioritised videos where there was sound coming from a metal keys on a wooden board.

#1 The most viewed video under the above mentioned category was this one with 4 324 028 views. (Array Mbira)

#2 With 694 942 views here is the second (Kalimba)

#3 With 390 262 views was Tinashe  playing a mbira version of his song Zambezi on the Kalimba

Tinashe, who is Zimbabwe-born but British based,  is an upcoming brilliant musician who plays synth-pop.  I just wondered whether his knowledge of Zimbabwean mbira helped in the decision of making a mbira version of his hit Zambezi?

 #4 The first song on mbira huru came at number 4 and guess what? It was was a version of Bob Marley’s Is this love! Yes, on mbira dzavadzimu, you heard that right! Well here it is with 297,119 views

For more videos in this list, please go to YouTube! In the mean time i will be thinking over why these videos are so popular. Your thoughts on this very welcome, just pop them in the comments below!Later

2 Replies to “The Most Popular Mbira Video on YouTube”

  1. All I can say is it’s a shame that these are the most popular results as real mbira music (and I’m talking here about Zimbabwean music of the mbira huru/dzavadzimu etc. as I know nothing about other types of mbira music of which there are MANY in sub-saharan Africa) has so much more depth and musical interest.

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