The late mbira and percussion virtuoso, Adam Chisvo, who died of diabetes complications early Wednesday morning will be buried in Makanyazvingwa Village, Seke, Thursday.
Social network platforms such as Facebook were abuzz with messages of people expressing shock and condolences at the news of Chisvo’s death.
According to Chisvo’s uncle, Ngoni Zindoga, when the musician left his humble lodgings in Mbare to go to Harare Hospital, he could barely talk.
“He spoke a little when the doctors were attending to him asking why he was being attended to by the doctors and then he went silent and passed away,” said Zindoga.
It is unclear whether Chisvo was aware that he was diabetic. Zindoga said none of Chisvo’s close family and relatives were aware the musician was diabetic.
“No one in the family knew that he was diabetic, but some musicians that came to pay their respects intimated that Chisvo once talked about being diabetic,” said Zindoga, adding Chisvo will be remembered for his humility and ability to work with many talented artists.
Diabetes is a lifelong disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adulthood and many people with the conditions do not know they have it. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common due to increasing obesity and failure to exercise.
When NewsDay visited the Chisvo homestead, mourners, including the who’s who of Zimbabwe’s music industry, were already trickling in to pay their last respects.
Among them were Oliver Mtukudzi, Charles Charamba, Pastor G, Kenny Neshamba, David Ndoro and Isaac Chirwa.
“We’ve lost a committed musician. His commitment was obvious to music lovers; he was versatile, dedicated and loved his music. He was also quite disciplined and managed to avoid many pitfalls of the industry. Above all, he made Mbare proud, and we always love it when someone does that,” said David Ndoro, lead guitarist with popular jazz band, Luck Street Blues.
Josh Hozheri of Jazz 105, who hosted the musician on several occasions, since he performed with different groups, said Chisvo was irreplaceable.
“He was a humble man. He worked very well with musicians, most of whom were far younger than him. He had the talent and was always willing to assist anyone who sought his advice. This is indeed a great loss and we will not find anyone to take his place,” said Hozheri.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented musical collaboration, mbira queen Chiwoniso Maraire and mbira punk rock band, Chikwata 263, will host a joint performance at the Book Café Saturday.
The show is being dedicated to the memory of Chisvo, Chiwoniso’s former mbira player and percussionist.
According to the show organisers, proceeds from the show will be used to help Chisvo’s family.
The show, which promises to be one of 2011’s most exciting gigs, will see Chiwoniso merge the versatility and beauty of her voice with Chikwata 263’s experimental type of mbira, punk and rock fusion.