Drummer commits suicide

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Was AY Band cursed? The band, which was led by the late Sam Mtukudzi has lost a fourth original member barely three years after Mtukudzi died in a fatal accident together with sound engineer, Owen Chimhare.

Former AY Band drummer Tatenda Sticks Kanjatu who had joined dancehall sensation Mic Inity committed suicide on Thursday.

When NewsDay visited the family of the deceased at Number 13, 9th Crescent in Warren Park 1, his sister, Lenny expressed her grief and how the family had been greatly affected.

Tatenda was the breadwinner in our family and he had always been supportive though he was the youngest. We are not yet sure what could have led him to take away his life. He did not show any signs of depression and we were all shocked by his death, said Lenny.

Misfortunes seem to trail original members of the now defunct AY Band. One of the original members Martha Badza, a talented vocalist died on November 11 last year.

She was also working with Mic Inity at the time of her death.

Tatendas death brings the count to four in three consecutive years. There is always something disheartening about these deaths. They were all young and were yet to learn a lot in the music industry. Sam Mtukudzi died when he was about to turn 22.

Chimhare was 24, Badza was 30 and Tatenda was 23.

Mic Inity said Tatenda was a good young artist and they had a good working relationship.

Tatenda was a good young man, we had a good working relationship and he will surely be missed, said Mic Inity.

A source close to the deceased who preferred anonymity said it was so painful that he had to hang himself especially after recovering from his recent ill health.

Its so painful that someone who made it through illness just recently had to take his own life. He fell sick when Sam was still alive and he at times struggled to walk as he came for rehearsals at Pakare Paye but he had recovered and looked healthy, said a source.

Touching messages were posted on Tatendas Facebook wall by fellow artists and friends such as Hope Masike and Pamberi Trust.

Fellow musician Peter Chirima popularly known as Poda said he did not personally know Tatenda but knew about his talent.

I didnt really know the guy personally but from what Ive gathered he was really talented and its so sad how the AY Band has crumbled over such a short period of time, he said.

Tatenda was buried at Warren Hills yesterday.