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Gift of the Tortoise

Gift of the Tortoise by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Released: Jan 2007
Label: Gallo Record Company
Who doesn't want their kids listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo? But the addition of master storyteller Gcina Mhlophe turns this album into something as transporting as the 1930s and '40s radio serials kids used to listen to with rapt attention, chins propped in their hands. Mhlophe, as the tortoise, conjures up South Africa in all its conflicted glory -- stunning wildlife, poverty-stricken villages and all. She doesn't sugarcoat her stories, dealing with drought's dire consequences and families torn apart when fathers leave to find work in the city, but it's all soothed by Ladysmith's incomparable singing.
Sarah Bardeen

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