Nicholas Zakaria is one of the few musicians in the country who have managed to keep their careers away from controversy.
Largely credited for grooming successful musicians, which has earned him the nickname, Senior Lecturer, Zakaria has seen it all in the music industry. He is also known as Madzibaba because of his religious background.
NewsDay correspondent Tawanda Marwizi (ND) hooked up with Nicholas Zakaria (NZ) for a chat about the musicians life and profession. Below are some excerpts of the interview:
ND: You have been in the industry for a long time, but unlike most of your peers, you have not been involved in controversy. How do you manage it?
NZ: I am a religious man and I live by Gods commandments. It is His spirit that guides me and I make sure that I do not divert from His ways. I know if I forsake God, he will also forsake me
ND: If you are such a religious man, or a Christian to be specific, how do you cope with performing in bars?
NZ: I feel very safe because those are the people who need divine education. Those that go to churches get their lessons from sermons and teachings, but those in bars also need to be taught the good ways of life and I do so through my lyrics.
ND: So, are there any people who, after you perform, come and say they have been touched by your message?
NZ: No. But what I can say is that if they hear the word of God and the good message we carry, they will consider their actions.
ND: Madzibaba, there have been rumours that you switched churches. Is it true and why?
NZ: Yes, its true I moved from Johanne Masowe we Chishanu to Mugodhi Apostolic Church, not because there is anything wrong, but I just felt I had to move. Anyway, a church is a church and one day I might even visit (Emmanuel) Makandiwas church.
ND: Give us your brief history before forming Khiama Boys.
NZ: I came a long way. In 1975 I joined Green Mango and then went to work with Vhuka Boys in 1978. I formed Khiama Boys in 1984.
ND: You are well known for assisting upcoming artists, are you still doing it?
NZ: We are heavily affected by piracy, so it becomes difficult for us to assist them financially, but the only assistance we can give them is to let them come and use our instruments. That is why I am setting up a music academy.
ND: What can you say about the performance of record companies in the country?
NZ: I think they are not being fair to artists. They should open credit lines to their artists and ensure they assist them purchase musical equipment and other necessities for the showbiz. Artists lives should improve so they shed off this general poverty tag associated with musicians.
ND: Lastly, it has been long since you shared the stage with one of your products, Alick Macheso, what is the problem?
NZ: It is just unfortunate, but if there is any promoter who wants us to share the stage, then we will definitely do so and to remind you, Macheso is not my product, he is only my nephew.
ND: Thank you Madzibaba.
NZ: You are welcome.