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The Library of Things We Forgot to Remember, photographed for Common, curated by Khanya Mashabela, 6 May – 26 July 2023. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.
Title Boterekwa Date 1989 Authors Simon Chimbetu & Orchestra Dendera Kings (Marist Brothers) Type Vinyl record

Simon Chimbetu was the founding member of the Orchestra Dendera Kings. During the Second Chimurenga, Zimbabwe's war of independence from white minority rule, Chimbetu joined the exiled Zimbabwean African National Union (ZANU) forces in Tanzania as an entertainer.

After Zimbabwe's independence was won in 1980, Chimbetu worked in a tobacco processing plant. He continued to perform in his downtime alongside his younger brother Naison Chimbetu in a musical duo which they named the Marxist Brothers – a tribute to the political beliefs they had gained during the war of independence. In 1988, the band split to start their own projects, with Simon creating the Orchestra Dendera Kings.

Simon's band played his own take on sungura music, a genre popular throughout southern Africa for its upbeat tempo, danceable melodies, and politically conscious lyrics. Simon's 'dendera' style of sunguru is distinguished by his deep bass guitar, likened to the booming call of the Dendera bird (also known as the Southern ground hornbill).