HomeLife & StyleSimon Chimbetu’s torch lights the way for generations

Simon Chimbetu’s torch lights the way for generations


August 14 2012 marks eight years after the death of dendera musician Simon Chimbetu.

He is revered for creating the beat that has stolen the hearts of many which had become an integral component of the Chimbetu family.

On August 13, the Chimbetus will stage a show at Orange Groove Motel in honour of the late musician. One of the performers at the event will be Allan Chimbetu, who is brother to Simon and the oldest musician in the Chimbetu line.

NewsDay spoke to Allan and he re-lived his days with the departed dendera maestro and various developments in the family’s music circle.

“Back in the days, things were just smooth. It was fun working with Simon,” said Allan.

“We had our little secrets; we could joke and make fun out of our lives like brothers, it just made the environment soothing.”

When he speaks, it is apparent that Allan yearns to witness the legacy left by his brother manifest in the young Chimbetus.

Considering that Allan drank from the same cup as his brother, his narrative tells a story of a chap who is trying his best.

“My brother, at times it is difficult. Conflicts have always been there and will remain, but I am trying my best to carry the torch that my brother lit.

“I have come to believe that whatever is happening in dendera is good for us.

“It might look bad from an outsider’s view, but it gives us the direction and shines a light on what we really need to work on.”

It is fact that Allan is talented. Evident is the work that he has done to mentor his son Douglas.

Just a glimpse at how this young man is handling dendera will, with no doubt, take you a step back to the man himself, the late Simon.

Lately Allan made a stunning move to join his nephew Sulumani, a move that did not go down well with some of his fans who thought he was supposed to be the torch bearer from his late brother.

Judging by his experience, concentrating on his carrier could have been the wise decision to make.
“I am now above competition and I feel that my duty now is to see to it that the genre lives on.

“This is the same sentiment I shared with we my late brother and our ancestry.

“I am also stress free and taking the back seat makes me feel proud of how the young dendera stars are running things”, said Allan.

Initially, Allan was deserted by the original Orchestra Dendera Kings in 2006 when he was in Tanzania. He returned and found Sulumani appointed new leader of the band.

Allan says he has no hard feelings over what transpired simply because he is content after fulfilling his mission.

The Chimbetus hail from Mbeya in Tanzania.
“We used to go there often but you know how it is with other commitments. We make it a point to trace our roots as these visits help us connect with our ancestral spirits.”

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