Renowned sungura musician Cephas “Moto Muzhinji” Mashakada has died. He was 51.
Mashakada died yesterday at Chitungwiza General Hospital where he was admitted three weeks ago due to diabetes complications. Mashakada was in the intensive care unit for almost a week as his condition was fast deteriorating.
Chitungwiza General Hospital chief executive officer Obadiah Moyo confirmed Mashakada died yesterday afternoon.
“It’s sad that Mashakada has died, but one thing for sure is that everyone gave their best shot to try and restore his health,” said Moyo.
The Samson star was diagnosed with diabetes in 2006 and his leg was amputated due to the condition.
Mashakada’s close friend and fellow musician Hosiah Chipanga was at a loss for words.
“I am still at the hospital. It is a huge blow to me. I cannot speak now . . . please give me time,” said Chipanga, who sobbed on the phone.
Music promoter Patson Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotions described Mashakada’s death as a huge loss to the music industry.
“It is a great loss indeed. I heard over the radio that he was seriously ill, but I did not think he was about to leave us. I am in great shock. I worked with him on several projects and he was a jovial person who worked well with everyone,” said Chimbodza.
Mashakada’s producer Bothwell Nyamhondera was shocked to learn of the musician’s death.
“You are telling me for the first time and it is quite a shock. I produced most of his albums but to be honest with you, I have to recover from this shock. Please phone me later. I have to sit down and get calm,” said Nyamhondera.
Mashakada recorded over 15 albums in a career spanning over four decades, and in 2004 he released Nyaradzo Yakaitwa, his biggest selling album to date that carried the hit track Samson.
The top musician, who was born in Chinhoyi in 1960 started his career in that town before teaming up with a few friends that included the late Biggie Tembo.
The group relocated to Harare in 1978 at the invitation of the late Paul Mpofu of the World Tomorrow Band that had toured Chinhoyi, and they found a base at Saratoga Night Club in Highfield.
When other members of the group left, Mashakada renamed the group Sounds of the Muddy Face, his backing group until the time of his death.
Mourners are gathered at House No 2482 Unit B, Seke, Chitungwiza.