Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo’s death on Saturday evening robbed the local music industry of a hard-working musician who took sungura music to high levels.
Blending the sungura genre with some beats aligned to rhumba, the talented musician carved a niche in the industry and popularised a unique type of music that saw him build a commendable fan base.
Every music follower would remember how the late music star and Alick Macheso tightly competed for honours in the genre at various forums.
Although Dhewa started his career with a beat that was heavily linked to the late Leonard Dembo’s style, he managed to refine it with an exciting flair which earned him nicknames like “Muchina Muhombe”, “Father Flower”, “Mopao Mokonzi” (big boss), “Murozvi Mukuru” and “Igwe” (king).
His strength was mainly in live show performances and his choreography was a cut above the rest. With a fine line-up of backing vocalists and dancers, the musician left lasting impressions at most of his shows.
Many viewed him as a flamboyant character because of his unique style. He was always smartly dressed and exuded confidence.
Self-praise was part of his game and many female music followers liked him for his unconditional smile.
With 13 albums to his name, Dhewa released numerous hits that earned him many national awards.
Samanyemba was a hit that catapulted him to popularity and subsequent releases saw him rising up the popularity ladder rapidly.
The musician showed his resilience when he defied ill-health to stage shows and release albums against many people’s expectations.
Since he was diagnosed with non-Hogdkin’s lymphoma cancer about four years ago, the musician would be regularly hospitalised but made sure he returned to the stage with powerful performances after being discharged.
He went to the extent of discouraging his fans from sympathising with him, saying his duty was to entertain.
He promised to entertain them until his very last breath, but his health challenge proved too heavy at the beginning of last month when he failed to travel with his band to Botswana.
His son Peter had to lead the band on the tour. Two weeks ago he failed to pitch up for the “Zim’s Finest” gig because he was in hospital and that was the beginning of his last battle with cancer.
Although he vehemently denied that he was a charity case, fans and promoters stood by him and funds were raised to meet his various needs. Condolence messages are pouring in from across the world.