KwaZulu-Natal singer, songwriter and producer Lungi Naidoo has released a 10-track album of Zulu nursery rhymes which accompanies a children’s book ‘Rainbow Nation Kids’.
“My vision for the Rainbow Nation Kids album and book is to help bring music back to schools - education through music,” shared Naidoo.
The album features a mix of traditional Zulu children’s songs, as well as three originals written and produced by Naidoo and the “amazing” Ryan Sackanary.
“It’s been fun because there is no stress about what genre will work, this is just a project where Lungi, the artist did not exist, it was just Lungi the mom, the aunt.
“Lungi, just a normal person who wants to try and make a difference. It was a very interesting journey and I learned a lot while doing this project.
Considering that Naidoo is a rainbow baby herself, coming from a mixed background of a black mother and hidden father, ‘Rainbow Nation’ is the perfect title for the project.
“South Africa is such a beautifully diverse country and I wanted to do something that speaks true to who I am but also to how diverse our country is - the different, beautiful cultures that our country has.”
One of the biggest inspirations behind the Zulu nursery rhymes was Naidoo’s two-year-old nephew, who like many ‘Covid babies’ has been sucked into the world of Cocomelon and many other YouTube nursery rhymes.
After noticing how he was able to speak English fluently yet lacked when it came to Zulu, Naidoo came up with a solution.
“I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we had content online for our kids in African languages, so they can also learn to speak in an African language regardless of their race.
“The world is constantly changing, so it is important that as we change, we don’t forget who we are. One way of doing that is through storytelling and music.”
The songs are aimed at being a fun experience for both the children and parents, evoking nostalgia among them.
“As a child, I was taught through singing and it helped me learn faster, because melody records differently in the brain, so I could remember information quicker and easier.”
Creating the book was not an easy task, as with any entrepreneur journey. Naidoo did experience those tough moments but the project's end goal is what kept her motivated - making an impact in schools.
One of the highlights of the recording process was being in the studio recording vocals with the students of Nyanganye Primary.
The Cape Town-based musician will be embarking on a 10-school tour in collaboration with the Department of Education, where she will be bringing ‘Rainbow Nation’ to life in classrooms.
The singer encourages, especially now during Women's Month, that people support each other on the various journeys and whatever projects that they are doing.
You can purchase your Rainbow Nation Kids book at www.rainbownationkids.co.za