Leonard Dembo’s secret videos unearthed


THE late Leonard Dembo was known to be camera-shy and only released two videos throughout his career, but it has emerged that his family is holding on to a host of videos by the legendary musician’s live shows.


Dembo believed his music did not have to be complemented by videos because it was good enough to stir the market without aid.

However, revelations are that many of the musician’s shows were filmed and the family has kept the videos a closely guarded secret.

Only a footage of one live performance is said to have leaked through South Africa, but hardly accessible locally.

NewsDay has established the Dembos have videos showing the musician on stage at Stodart Hall in Mbare, Rusununguko Beerhall in Chitungwiza and Mukoba Stadium in Gweru.

Also among the secret videos are two of Dembo’s shows at the Harare International Conference Centre when he separately shared the stage with Congolese musicians Kanda Bongo Man and Sakis.

A local musician based in South Africa is said to have leaked the other video a few years ago.

The video is hardly accessible on the local market, but is reportedly on sale in Mozambique.

One of Dembo’s sons, Tendai, confirmed the family has the videos.
“We have kept the videos safely as a family treasure,” Tendai said.
“We have not released the videos because he (Leonard) never intended to have them released.

“However, we might make them available in future when we feel we have learnt enough musically from the videos.”

Tendai and his brother Morgan took over their father’s band Barura Express and they are said to regularly watch the videos for inspiration.

Barura Express band manager Wellington Mpandare said they once planned to release some of the videos, but later realised the family would not benefit because of piracy.

“Morgan and Tendai benefit more in learning from the videos than availing them to the public.

“However, we will eventually release the videos when the right time comes.”

The Dembos are confident the videos will not leak anymore because only highly trusted family members know of their location.
However, Tendai said their fans should be ready for anything anytime because the videos will eventually be released.

“We thank Barura Express fans for their support and ask them to continue following our father’s music.

“When we finally decide to release our father’s videos, we will announce at one of our shows.”

Since taking over their father’s band, Tendai and Morgan have released one album titled Kutsika Matsimba.

They are slowly climbing the ladder of fame and have shared the stage with a number of established local musicians.

On Friday, they will share the stage with Sulumani Chimbetu, Peter Moyo and Extra Kwazvose at Pamuzinda Highway X-scape in a show organised by Red Rose Entertainment.

A Red Rose Entertainment official said they would continue supporting the Dembos through live shows until the young musicians join the cream of local musicians.


  1. I have a full video of a live show at Munyarari Bar sometime after the release of Zii-Zii. Interesting how things were done at that time. Will not give it to anyone though – its mine.

  2. Dembo was my favourite musician and his music will never die. The way he sang was unique and pity that i dont have powers to resurrect the dead. If i had those powers definitely i would have resurrected him a long way back. RIP Dembo but your music is still sweet. There are those who delight in reaping where they did not sow, i advice the dembo family NOT to release the videos.

  3. ndovatinoti ma musicians ka aya,this man,s muzik really inspired me to work extra hard in life so as to achieve personal goals and objectives.A great master of strings on wood,Rip dembo,zims greatest musian ever.M and T Dembo keep the fire burning,l watched vafanha ava paFC Platinum Zvishavane,they are also gud.

  4. Vakomana musadaro mave kutivhairira nenhapitapi.Bvunzai Macheso akambotivhairira asingade ku realiser album raTafadzwa zvaakazoitwa ne piracy.musati hatina kukuudzai,hatidi kuzoimbirwa Batai Munhu

  5. i hv one live show video he plyd at Rusununguko hall 1992 Dec 22 so thiz Dembos thnk they stocked nhapitapi iyi.

  6. farisai mchiaburitsaka muone kti vakomana vari kuti takaamirira avo vari kunyepa here…..bettr kip thm…….

  7. still remember when i drove with my friend Elliot Jani from kwekwe to chirumhanzu to pay my condolences. met mai vadembo and she took us to the grave site and she said “ndipo parere mumwe wenyu vanangu” we played chitekete and danced for almost an hour . ndomagamba ka aya.

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