Looking back at the year 2010 in the arts, those who work and live in this sector have indeed travelled a long journey, experienced mixed fortunes, the good and the bad, from January to December. NewsDay wraps up some of these events.
The success stories
Munyaradzi Chidzonga Zimbabwe’s representative on the Big Brother All-Stars, dazzled followers of the reality television show by surviving a record nine evictions.
Though tipped to win the ultimate prize of $200 000, he failed at the last hurdle, after having charmed viewers of the show. He was however presented with a $300 000 cheque by President Robert Mugabe, and went on to fulfil his film-making dream after releasing the movie, Lobola, which had a lukewarm reception from the market.
In February, 19-year-old model Rosana Hall made Zimbabwe proud after making it into the three finalists in the M-Net Face of Africa 2010. Besides making it to the top three, Hall was awarded a modelling contract with the internationally prestigious agency, O Model Africa.
In May, sungura giant Tongai Dhewa Moyo took a public HIV test after the circulation of rumours over his deteriorating health. The singer made public his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer of the white blood cells. His decision to go ahead with the public test was described as an “unbelievable show of willpower”.
Although the musician experienced a lot downs during the year, he has remained a strong man who has continued to please his fans despite his many troubles.
In September, gospel diva Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, a board member of the National Aids Council, preached the “circumcision gospel” as the age-old tradition increasingly became central to the fight against HIV and Aids.
In April, hours before sungura artist Josphat Somanje’s performance at the Independence Gala at the Harare International Conference Centre, the musician’s wife reportedly fought his mistress. The wife had tracked him from their Marondera home after a tip-off from some of the Somanje Stars band members. The Somanje Stars boss was caught pants down with Leah Gushu in her room.
In September, sungura giant Alick Macheso, for long regarded a role model, made headlines for the wrong reasons when he revealed his intentions to take in a second wife, 28-year-old Tafadzwa Mapako.
Macheso is customarily married to Nyadzisai with whom he has five children. The Ochestra Mberikwazvo front man, together with his girlfriend, admitted they were in a relationship a few months after he had publicly denied he was going out with her.
Two months later, controversial but gifted singer and dancer Rockford Josphats, popularly known as Rocqui, allegedly started co-habiting with one of his dancers, Melody Musekiwa, at his Waterfalls house. Melody is famed for her raunchy dances. Rocqui himself has vowed never to speak to the media.
The Sad Moments
In March, son of music legend, Oliver Mtukudzi, an established musician and saxophonist in his own right, Samson Mtukudzi, died in car crash a month before his 21st birthday on April 1, when he was set to release his album Cheziya (which was later released posthumously). He died alongside his friend and sound engineer, Owen Chimhare, when their vehicle veered off the road and struck the rails of a bridge just before the Kuwadzana Extension off-ramp along the Bulawayo highway.
A week after taking a public HIV test in May, Tongai Moyo had to contend with the death of his wife, Barbara Muchengeti, after she committed suicide in unclear circumstances, although it was alleged that Dhewa’s decision to bring in a second wife into their home could have been a contributory factor.
Muchengeti died at Kwekwe General hospital after taking rat poison at the couple’s rural home in Zhombe.
Beater Mangethe, a Bulawayo-based musician known for her hit, I Come from Makokoba, died in June, two months after the death of her footballer husband Lenny Gwata.
In September, one of the country’s best jazz artistes, Dumisani Ngulube, died at Howard Mission Hospital in Chiweshe after suffering from a severe headache. Together with his group he had given a top-drawer performance at the just-ended Zimbabwe Winter Jazz Festival in Harare, playing alongside Mbare Trio, Tanga wekwa Sando and Bob Nyabinde, among others.
In the same month, the founding member of the popular Phenomenal Queens dance group, Sevelisiwe Mpofu, tragically died together with friends Trust Nyemba and his girlfriend Memory Magocha after the boat they were in capsized at Pamvura Lodge.
Two month later, Zimbabwe lost one of its finest actors, former Studio 263 actor, radio personality and singer Nevernay Chinyanga. Popularly known as Muwengwa, Chinyanga died in a Johannesburg hospital in South Africa.
The actor-cum-musician had been battling hyokalemia, a blood-related illness, since October 2008.