Veteran Zimbabwean drummer Douglas Vambe who was recently offered a 100- hectare farm by the government is appealing for inputs.
Vambe, who composed the Jerusarema-Mbende drumbeat that accompanies news bulletins at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), was given the offer letter early this year, but was officially given the farm in October.
The farm, situated in Marondera near the boundary with Murehwa, has rich soils, but the ageing drummer said he has neither the equipment nor the required seed and fertilisers to start farming.
In an interview, Vambe said the farm was a gift, but he needs inputs.
“The farm is now there and I was shown it in October, but my appeal to the government and other stakeholders is to help me with farming inputs and equipment like tractors and other things.
“This is a big farm and I don’t have anything so far to put it into maximum use and I told Minister Shamu (Webster) about it.
“Minister Shamu said he will pass my appeal to responsible authorities and I pray something will come out.
“I am waiting for raw materials and I don’t think this season I will plant something, maybe next year after putting my house in order.
“Maybe I will till a small portion so that at least there is activity on the land,” he said.
The decorated drummer would, however, require implements such as a tractor and other machinery to put the farm to maximum use.
Until he got the farm, Vambe had not received any royalties since the drumbeat was recorded at the then Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) studios in Mbare in 1962.
The drumbeat has been on the airwaves since then.
Efforts by Vambe to engage authorities at the RBC and later the ZBC for royalties failed and this latest development came as a relief to the 68-year-old drummer.
At one time Vambe demanded Z$5 million from ZBC as compensation without success.
He had also tried to engage RBC authorities when the drumbeat was first played, but did not get any joy.
He brought the drums from Chimanimani in the early 1960s.
It is the same drum he still plays across the globe today.
The drumbeat is so popular when the ZTV removed it from introducing and concluding its news bulletins for a few days in 1999, there was an outcry from viewers across the country.