The late popular musician James Chimombe’s son, Freddy, who is living in a shack at Hopley Farm in Harare, has pleaded with fellow musicians and well-wishers to bail him out of his pathetic situation.
Freddy is surviving on buying and selling empty bottles although he sometimes gets his father’s music royalties from sales and airplay.
“Apart from the royalties from my father’s music, I am doing a business of buying and selling bottles to keep food on the table,” said Freddy in an interview at his makeshift home.
His father’s house in Cranborne is currently occupied by tenants following a court order that his stepmother inherits it.
“My health has immensely deteriorated due to poor living conditions and I have visited several doctors and undergone several tests, but they can’t find the real problem. I think I am bewitched,” he said.
Freddy (38), a father of five children is now partially blind after a snake spat venom in his eyes five years ago.
He described his situation as a “one-meal-per-day” living. He pleaded to fellow musicians to help him out.
“I would be grateful if I get assistance to get out of this mess.”
He said he is working on an album which he hopes to release this year.
“I am working on a new album. I want to revive my father’s band name like what the Dembos (Morgan and Tendai) are doing, despite the fact that I am in a challenging situation.”
A few years ago Freddy tried unsuccessfully to revive his father’s music.
He denied claims that he gave Lincoln Chimombe a go-ahead to revive his father’s band. Lincoln has often claimed that he is working on taking on from where the late great musician left.
“He is my half-brother and he came here with that request, but I told him to start his own thing because I am now having problems with people that are re-recording and publicly playing my father’s music without giving me anything.”
However, Freddy has made an arrangement with Diana Samkange, who recorded a remix of his father’s song Zvaitika in her Kumagumoerudo, that she pays royalties.
As he narrated his ordeal, he broke down many times.
He praised his wife for standing by him in these hard times.