“Bafo The Mentor,” a release highlighting Kunene’s role as a mentor, celebrates Kunene’s commitment to guiding generations of young musicians. The release, dated February 5, 2023, under the Madalaline label (catalogue ML0016), encapsulates the essence of Kunene’s mentorship. Renowned as the King of the Zulu Guitar or The true African Bluesman, Kunene’s journey in the “Forest Jam” project cemented his status as a mentor par excellence. Invited to join the international non-profit organization in 2014, Kunene embraced the mentor role, guiding young musicians and preserving the rich musical traditions of Southern Africa.
The Meaning of Mentor = advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague).
It took me 20 years to convince Madala Kunene to not just act as a guardian of tradition but to share his talent. Bafo has long been a mentor and guide for new generations of young musicians, and in 2014, I invited him to join FOREST JAM, an international non-profit organization founded in Switzerland. The organization is based on exchanging creative ideas and making music together, but also jointly challenging everyday living together, cultural differences and overcoming age-related reservations, thus allowing symbiotic cooperation.
Over a short span of 4 years, Madala got involved in collaborations with young artists from Switzerland and Southern Africa. On his travels to Switzerland, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, Bafo “The Mentor” inspired countless musicians and audiences, and this first of 3 releases is dedicated to Madala and his friendship with Swiss bass- and violin player Matthias Abächerli, aka One Pull. The release was put together during the COVID-19 lockdown in Durban and contains bits of conversations. It is best downloaded as a full album and listened to at leisure.
Robert Trunz “
Throughout his illustrious career, Kunene has collaborated with many artists, lending his unique style and wisdom to various projects. His work is a rich tapestry of jazz fusion, world music, and the soulful rhythms of the Zulu guitar. Each collaboration and each performance is imbued with his passion for music and his dedication to nurturing new talent.