WHILE some critics have long written him off, the zora maestro has never ceased to be an excellent performer.
BY DANIEL BEREJENA
Dhonza Makomborero, the song that influenced the title of Leonard Zhakata’s latest project, Zvangu Zvaita, has stormed to the summit of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s National FM weekly Top 20 hits, and could be there for a while judging by the way it is being played in kombis and other places.
Another song from the same album, Dollar Boy, rose to number three on Radio Zimbabwe’s weekly top hits.
Zhakata was the centre of attraction at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex in August 2012 when he shared the stage with Alick Macheso, Energy Mutodi and Mukudzeyi Mukombe, aka Jah Prayzah, leading to some media coming up with headlines such as Zhakata steals show in Chitungwiza. The musician gave a splendid performance at the 2013 closedown show where he shared the stage with Macheso, Peter Moyo and Progress Chipfumo.
Zhakata has in the past cited politicisation of his music through misinterpretation as the reason why fans had deserted him.
He did not feature at most national events that were organised at the turn of the millenium, especially after the release of Hodho, an album that contained a song that people thought talked about the political playing field which was skewed in favour of the then ruling party.
He started featuring in the national musical events after 2010, but had not really re-gained lost ground. Zhakata opened 2014 on a high note, bringing to his open show at Jazz 105 other musicians such as Sulumani Chimbetu and Chipfumo, among others.
In the last few years, Zhakata has helped a good number of up-coming musicians take off, some of whom are stars in the making.
These include Sebastian Magacha who has re-done his old hit Gomba Remarara into a new song Kwekuturira, which is set to be released early in the year.
In 2012, Zhakata was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of a newly formed charity, the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust and is expected to work with other musicians to record an album to promote the development of school libraries in Zimbabwe.
In Zvangu Zvaita, Zhakata seems to have regained his lost glory. The album is reportedly one of the best-selling album in Zimbabwe at the moment.
His invitation to participate at the wedding of the First Family’s daughter Bona Mugabe last week could suggest that his music is once again popular.