Black Lazarus [aka Stizzy Markaveli] Gives His Lady Grim Warnings About Earthly Pleasures in 'Zingizi'

By Brandon Mwanza and Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza

We have always loved the rise and diversity of underground hip-hop and Afro talent from Harare's Glen View high-density suburb, and of particular importance in this context is Stizzy Markaveli, who has turned out to be shifting towards a new name - BlackLAZARUS (perhaps motivated more by his real name, Lazarus Vambe). 

Black Lazarus as an alternative name is Stizzy's own form of artistic metamorphosis as his meditation and consciousness are changing in ways that [positively] impact his whole persona. 

Stizzy Markaveli Black Lazarus Glen View Zingizi
Black Lazarus [commonly known as Stizzy Markaveli]. For the purposes of this article, the names will be used interchangeably. 

In his latest offering to afford his nascent fanbase something to vibe to as he prepares on his solo EP, he has dropped the track Zingizi in which he talks of his dissatisfaction and imminent heartbreak because his girl’s morals are now questionable – he tells us how he no longer understands the girl he fell in love with initially. With those Jezebel connotations of course – a conclusion he wants the listener to reach for themselves. 

The decadence his lady is introducing to their relationship is inimical to Stizzy's intrinsic healthy moral values; Stizzy is thus caught between a rock and a hard place. To salvage what's left or simply forget the lady's existence? He cannot handle it anymore. Hence the allusion to zingizi - in English a carpenter bee - the infinite desire for flowers translating to an insatiable desire/hunger for an indulgence in sensual pleasures.  

There is always an aura of quality defined and quality guaranteed when the name Stizzy Markaveli [and in the context of this song, Black Lazarus] is mentioned, and this transcends any iota of reasonable doubt. His talent becomes a manifestation of a Harare urban youth navigating the complexities of adulthood with a resolve to win no matter the hurdles stacked his way - given the gritty nature of Zimbabwe's entertainment industry. He is adventurous with conflating types of sounds and yet maintains his trademark delivery style in ways that leave other MCs green with envy. And this is what the track Zingizi portrays.

Glen View’s Masvingo eh Jericho Records (together with Hotroses, an apparel label) – under whose leadership Black Lazarus is thriving – is relentless and Zingizi is an attestation of this. The 03:02 minute-song has its inspiration set in the murky waters called love and within the greatly-enduring Shona proverb “Zingizi gonyera pamwe maruva aya haapere,” a stern warning against senselessly chasing the pleasures and materialism of the Earth ad infinitum. Be steady and be content with what currently obtains in your life; that’s what Black Lazarus is preaching. And it is apt that he chooses the name Black Lazarus. 

“Zinginzi gonyera pamwe” is a strong moral lesson rooted in African customs and values that is continuously passed down to us from many generations that preceded us. Throughout the song he addresses the issue about how contentment within relationships has become a problem in this generation - in scarce supply. What with the fast-paced outlook of life in the contemporary where people worship superficial things such as material wealth – with the concomitant but deadly effects of social media. And he succinctly put it, “Gonyera pamwe, yeah Gonyera pamwe, yeah gonyera pamwe uri fast se Zingizi.”

Loyalty is something rare like a bad Stizzy song. Black Lazarus [Stizzy] talks about how the behaviours and proclivities of some women in the society are morally bent. As if debauchery is the new religion, especially in the urban areas’ contexts. The relatability factor in Zingizi is priceless as these are issues which are prevalent in our communities (both rural and urban). Zingizi, according to Stizzy, came to existence due to a personal experience as regards matters of the heart. And through this song, we get to listen to this story from his uncut and unfiltered perspective.

The artwork for Zingizi.

The single paves way for an Extended Play which is set to come out in the fourth quarter of the year. Speaking to ZimSphere, he talks about how the upcoming project is a piece of art that Zimbabwe is in dire need of and how it is a blissful deviation from the conventional sounds that now dominate hip-hop trends. His is a brand-new listening experience via the EP – what he calls the “rich meditation.”

The song was brought to fruition through the hands of capable producers J Beats and Boss Gidza, both from Glen View. The latter is part of the Afro contemporary music group Fusion 5 Mangwiro. It seems J Beats and Stizzy share unbreakable synergies when it comes to keys and notes. When J Beats’ beat-making meets Stizzy’s enviable raps, what abounds is an irresistible sonic wave.

Zingizi by BlackLAZARUS [Stizzy Markaveli] is out and you can listen or download via this Audiomack link and share your thoughts with us, as well as sharing the music far and wide.

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