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Revisiting Mukoma Ketai


The late talented sungura musician Ketai Muchawaya, who was popularly known as “Mukoma Ketai” will forever remain a legend on the local music scene.

The Dai Uriwe hit-maker was in a class of renowned departed musicians like System Tazvida, John Chibadura, Marshall Munhumumwe and Leonard Dembo among others.

NewsDay hooked up with one of his surviving band members Samora Nendanga who took us down memory lane.

He said Mukoma Ketai was a serious musician who did not allow his band members to eat sadza just before they went on stage arguing full stomachs could limit their activity.

Nendanga worked with Muchawaya since the formation of Kasongo Band in 1986.

“At one point we went to a show in Chegutu and we arrived there late and everyone was hungry but no one was allowed to eat but we only had drinks,” said Nendanga.

“Mukoma Ketai would say mukadya munogutisa mukashaya tambo dzemagitare (if you are full you will miss guitar chords) and we could only eat at break time.”

He said Ketai could deal with matters of violence at his own without calling anyone even the police.

“He could call the police at last and he had no bouncers guarding him. He was one musician who, if violence erupted in the show, would stop the music, go off stage and deal with the culprits.”

However, Nendanga said Mukoma Ketai was diplomatic in ending conflicts within the band.

“He was very diplomatic in ending conflicts in the band at one point I had a conflict with Knowledge Kunenyati before he left Kasongo but our leader handled it to the extent that we became best friends.”

In a bid to retain the legacy of his late boss, Nendanga said he has formed a band Muzokomba Sounds.

“I have formed my band now named Muzokomba Sounds and we are about to go into the studio with our six-track album called Monica,” he said.

He said financial problems are the major cause for the delay in venturing into full-time music. He is now working with Tapiwa Makukutu, a teacher from a local school.

“I can’t afford to buy the instruments alone so I have asked Makukutu to help me and we have since started local shows and people are responding well to the music.”

Asked if it will not cause conflict with Muchawaya’s sons who have already showed their intentions to revive their father’s band, Nendanga said he was willing to work with them.

“I am actually looking for them so as to have a way forward on the issue otherwise what is more important is to have the band revived because people still need that music.”

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