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Macheso in SA, UK tour dilemma

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Sungura maestro Alick Macheso might travel for shows in South Africa and United Kingdom without two of his key band members who do not have passports.

Macheso is expected to perform in Johannesburg and Pretoria at the end of this month and tour UK in July, but his dancer Peter Kagomera and guitarist Divine Muzenda have no travelling documents and are unlikely to be part of the sungura musician’s entourage.

The band’s manager William Tsandukwa assisted other band members get passports ahead of the tour, but could not do so for Kagomera and Muzenda because they do not have adequate documentation.

Tsandukwa confirmed Kagomera could not acquire a passport because his mother, who has his birth certificate at their rural home, was unco-operative.
Kagomera, who was a street kid for the better part of his childhood, was said to have a sour relationship with his family members.

In Muzenda’s case, Tsandukwa said the guitarist would not travel with the band because of health complications.

But the manager was initially furious and seemed uninterested to talk about the issue.

“Who told you that there are some (band members) have no passports? If NewsDay employs you without a passport is it the employer’s fault?” Tsandukwa queried before confirming the two band members were unlikely to be part of the tour.

“Most of the new members did not have passports and we had to run around and ensure they get them. Peter has no birth certificate with him. We tried to talk to his mother who keeps it in the rural areas, but we were unsuccessful. One guitarist might not travel because he is not feeling well.”

Tsandukwa did not want to reveal the name of the guitarist, but sources within the band revealed Muzenda was the only guitarist not on the tour list.

Sources also revealed the guitarist did not have a passport. Muzenda was part of Macheso’s band that performed at Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza last Friday.

Both Kagomera and Muzenda refused to talk to NewsDay saying they were under strict instructions against engaging the media.

Speculation is rife Macheso wants to lure his former dancer Franco “Slomo” Dhaka, who defected to Sulumani Chimbetu early this year, to replace Kagomera on the tour.

At the Friday show, Macheso hinted Dhaka was approaching his management with an intention of rejoining the band.

When former Orchestra Mberikwazvo guitarist Innocent Mjintu made a surprise appearance on stage, Macheso took the opportunity to notify fans about Dhaka’s alleged U-turn.

“You have seen our friend Innocent who is currently working with (Energy) Mutodi joining us on stage.
Noel Nyazanda is back with us and Franco is pleading to be readmitted in the band,” said Macheso.

But Dhaka refuted the claims saying Macheso was actually sending emisaries to lure him back.

“He (Macheso) is sending people to me trying to lure me back ahead of their crucial tour, but I can’t go back because I am happy with my contract with Sulumani,” said Dhaka.

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