The Kennedy Center

Zimbabwe Legit


Zimbabwe Legit, featuring MCs Akim Ndlovu (known as simply Akim) and Dumisani Ndlovu (aka Dumi Right), were the first African group to record hip-hop in America. They provide a high energy, multi-dimensional live show that highlights various hip hop elements including emceeing, dance and beatboxing and incorporates a musical soundscape that seamlessly blends gritty beats with sundry influences of African rhythms, jazz and funk. Not your typical rap show, their performances are more of a hip hop cultural celebration or immersion and an invocation of the spirit that the founders intended. Their sound retains the roots of a golden age from whence it emanated, while still remaining current, if not ahead of its time.

Their self-titled debut EP, released in 1992 at the height of hip hop's golden age, featured a unique blend of hip hop with African musical elements and established the duo as certified forerunners on the cutting edge of the artform. (The album also included production by The Black Sheep and one DJ Shadow).

Since then the group has continued to record projects and perform across the US and even internationally, gracing stages at auspicious venues that include The Smithsonian, Blues Alley, The Whitney Museum, Central Park, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Blue Note and many more.

Their most recent group album, Zimbabwe Legit - House of Stone, was released to critical acclaim and united the group with a who's who cast of hip hop luminaries including dead prez, Chubb Rock, Vast Aire, YZ and the Jungle Brothers. The album received accolades in publications from the US to France, Japan, Italy, Germany, the UK, South Africa and more.

The group members have also had noteworthy achievements through individual endeavors. Akim's recent successes include a current NEA grant to develop a cross cultural exchange production in Japan, performances with the Bill T. Jones Company and a NYC Fringe Festival Choreography Award. Dumi was previously selected as the runner up in a Berklee College of Music/Numark Musical Innovator contest and has also captured a Washington Area Music Award and several nominations. In addition Dumi has released a number of side projects and a solo album appropriately titled, Connect the Dots.

Watch Past Performances

Video 2/15/2014: Zimbabwe Legit

The pioneering and groundbreaking hip-hop crew, one of the first rap groups from Africa to make a splash worldwide, takes the stage as a preview concert for the Center’s upcoming One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide festival.

Zimbabwe Legit