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Behind the "African Turquoise" Concept:

In early 2012, Piwai travelled to Zimbabwe to record her first album, “African Turquoise.”  The album is written, composed, and produced by Piwai, in collaboration with James Buzuzi of Bongolove.  It is a fascinating fusion of jazz and traditional African rhythms, including mbira and percussion from Jacob Mafuleni and John Mambira.  Due for release in Fall 2012, “African Turquoise” is being launched alongside a non-profit for HIV orphans.

 The album concept reflects that which is most sacred in Africa: the gift of life and its perpetual progression.  True to form, Piwai’s songwriting prowess and percussive genius takes the listener on a journey: glimpse life through the eyes of children in war-torn Congo; walk the streets of Harare; bear witness to the slums of Soweto, India, and the favelas of Brazil; or play along the proverbial paths of Zimbabwean folklore. 

 “African Turquoise” brings a bold appreciation to the suffering of humanity while reinforcing the direct connection people have with the universe—empowering healing and evolution.

True to its nature the spotted teal jasper, known as the African Turqoise changes hues  according to the mood and so is our existence, an ever changing landscape filled with various spiritual and emotional planets.

An embodiment of my universal outlook in life…

 As esteemed as the ancient Egyptian turquoise gemstones, Piwai’s African Turquoise is a reflection of what is most sacred in Africa, the gift of life and the progression of life itself.

Through the various styles featured in African turquoise, Piwai horns in on the universality of life through the eyes of imaginary children from war torn Congo, from the streets of Harare, from the slums of Soweto, India and favelas of Brazil…

Piwai carries this idea through the song “Child of the soil”- a powerfully engaging mantra & plea from the voice of the child caught up in war, which she plays on the Nyunga Nyunga(15-key mbira). Already a buzz and a sure hit is “Mbonje”, a colorful play on Zimbabwean proverbs highlighting the nuances of respect for life and for advice as is common in most African cultures, and shows Piwai’s true singer/songwriting prowess and percussive genius.

Turquoise, a gemstone of the people, makes it a perfect symbolism for the direct connection people have with the universe…which is central to Piwai’s life experiences and musical endeavors as an artist.

Piwai’s African Turquoise is set to bring awareness to the ongoing forgotten war in the Congo  and shed light on victims of rape caused by the war…


African Turquoise (Roots of the Sun)

  1. Inside Out
  2. Mvura Naya Naya
  3. Zhara
  4. Malaika
  5. Click Song (Qonqothwane)
  6. Mbonje
  7. Child of the Soil
  8. Ndiani
  9. Godo
  10. I Won’t Break


Guitar –James Buzuzi (of BongoLove)

Bass- Winfred Munyoro

Drums- Zealman

Keyboards-Nicholas Nhare(of Color Blu)

Percussion- John Mambira(of BongoLove)

Mbira-Mbira dzavadzimu: (24 Key)- Jacob Mafuleni(of Mbira dzeNharira)

Nyunga Nyunga:  (15 Key)-Ticha Muzavazi & Piwai

Backing Vocals:

–Clarybel Nyakujara (Mbonje, Zhara, Child Of  the Soil)

- Rute Mbangwa  (Zhara)

-Jacob Mafuleni (Mbonje) 

Sound Engineer: Tamie Bimha
Studio Tracking- Media For Development (MFD) #12 Van Praagh, Milton Park,      Harare, Zimbabwe

Mixing and Mastering: Allan Phillips  (San Diego)

All Songs Written & Composed By Piwai. (Exception of Malaika & Click Song)

Arrangements: Piwai & James Buzuzi

Arrangements of Malaika & Click Song: Piwai

Produced by Piwai & James Buzuzi

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