Nashil Pichen

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Nashil Pichen Kazembe
Birth nameNashil Pichen Kazembe
Luapula Province, Zambia
Years active1970s – 1980s.
Associated actsPeter Tsotsi Juma

Nashil Pichen Kazembe (1932–1991) was a Zambian singer from Luapula Province who became an African music star in the 1970s. He spent a long time in Nairobi, Kenya, where he collaborated with fellow Zambia emigre Peter 'Tsotsi' Juma who was from Mbala in Northern Province on the Zambia–Tanzania border and Benson Simbeye. As members of Eagles Lupopo Band they sang patriotic songs praising President Kenneth Kaunda and commenting on various social issues.

Nashil Pichen ended his career as a solo artiste after returning from Kenya to Lusaka. His big hit "A-Phiri Anabwera" was the first single to sell more than 50,000 units in Zambia. It was a song about Mr Phiri, a long-lost migrant worker who returns home from the city empty-handed, only to find that no one in his village remembers him. Pichen had earlier scored a string of hits with his Super Mazembe band singing in Zambian, Congolese and Kenyan. He worked with Mazembe as a producer and manager in Zambia but he also came to have his own successful career as a solo artist in Kenya.[1] Although he returned to Zambia in the 1980s and recorded albums there, he is better-known in Kenya for his Nairobi hits. It was in Kenya that he developed his style of combining Zambian traditional music with Congolese, Kenyan and Southern African urban rhythms like soukous, benga music and kwela. He was also very popular in Zimbabwe.

Peter Tsotsi Juma and Nashil Pichen helped develop the Equator Sound Band's "twist" style, modeled after the South African kwela rhythm (see Before Benga Vol. Two: The Nairobi Sound, Original Music).[2]

Although Kazembe had such a successful music career, at the time of his death he was a very poor man. No family members or offspring are known.


Studio albums[edit]

  1. A Phiri Anabwera
  2. Hot Hits Of Nashil Pichen Kazembe

Selected singles & EPs[edit]

  1. Munyadiranji
  2. Usaone Kumanga Thayo Pts 1 & 2
  3. Mwazima Nyale / Shanty Compound
  4. Kabolala Wa Chikondi
  5. Mungeli Ufwaya / Babili – Babili

See also[edit]

Music of Zambia


External links[edit]