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Jonasi Kasamba speaks out


SUNGURA king Alick Macheso’s longest serving band member and chanter Jonasi Kasamba, who quit the popular outfit on Thursday, has blasted the musician’s management for failing to address the needs of band members.

Report by Tawanda Marwizi

Kasamba deserted Macheso together with drummer Obert Gomba and guitarist Donald Gogo.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday Kasamba said Macheso’s management does not take band members seriously.

“How can a band like (Orchestra) Mberikwazvo pay peanuts to its workers?” queried Kasamba.

“It is very bad because the band is making a lot of money.”

He added that their allowances were slashed by 50% without any explanation from the management.

“They just slashed our allowances without explaining and that is very unfair.  When I went to my home country (Democratic Republic of Congo) in December, I got stuck at the border, but they failed to rescue me. I called (band manager William) Tsandukwa, but he could not assist me. They do not take our needs into consideration and things have become very bad in the camp.

“Macheso is a humanitarian ambassador, but he is failing to realise the plea of his band members.”

Known for popularising some of Macheso’s dances, Kasamba served the band since 1997 after quitting Lubumbashi Stars.

He has been responsible for leading the band’s dancers for a long time and was seen as Macheso’s right hand man.

In addition to doing backing vocals and cheering Macheso during live shows, Kasamba has added his voice on a number of Macheso’s songs in the studio.

On the latest album, Kwatakabva Mutunhu, Kasamba’s vocals are outstanding on songs Kudzima Moto and Cynthia.

The departure of the trio is another blow to Macheso following the flop of his new album. The musician is reportedly working on a new project.

However, Tsandukwa had no kind words for the defectors.

“We are not worried because he (Macheso) is still there and if they are fed up with the band they can go,” said Tsandukwa. He said they are paying their band members well.

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