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Potipher Mopo: When talent meets passion

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THE typical Zimbabwean story of a musician is almost predictable.

SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER

Many were not good in school.

Some had nothing else to do and a few were talented.

But what is key for all categories, however, is the passion; everything else has to follow.

And when talent meets passion you have a star in the making.

That aptly sums up the description of Potipher Mopo.

The son of the great Mike Mopo has managed to step out of his father’s shadow and carve his own niche punctuated with interesting jiti rhythms.

Speaking to NewsDay in the run-up to the release of his second album Ndega Zvangu today, Potipher said he had benefited a lot from performing alongside Jah Prayzah with whom he has been sharing the stage.

“There are some places that I would never have managed to go alone, but because I was cushioned by a bigger and more experienced artiste, it has helped me a lot,” said Potipher.

“He is a great person both in terms of experience and character. He has helped me a lot.”

His major advantage, he says, is the fact that he has somewhat diverted from his father’s set musical dictates.

“When my father moved from National Oil Company of Zimbabwe to the private sector Exor, I took it upon myself to take over. I had performed with him and I had the drive in me to take over and my father gave me his blessing. He wanted to see how it would go,” said Potipher.

The first born in a family of five, Potipher says his father is a secretive man and it is ever difficult to get information out of him.

He said he is yet to know what his father really thinks about the new album.

“It is difficult to know whether he is pleased or not, but normally he speaks when he is excited or when something is wrong. With my debut album he did comment. He just said I was a brave man. He was happy and we are yet to know what he really thinks about the second one,” he said.

Ndega Zvangu carries six tracks namely Zunde, Ndega, Handirambi, Mwana Muparadzi, Vatsigiri and the folkloric Samasango plus a bonus instrumental track.
While this will be a typical Potipher album, his rhythm guitar is too predictable and simplistic playing the same key from the first track to the last.
What covers for that is the deep soul searching in the lyricism.

His poetic social commentary forces the reader to think, particularly the first track Zunde that appears to fit into this dispensation of corruption and utter disregard of a constituency’s will by political leaders.

Potipher said he will not comment on the album, but let the people talk.

“On my debut album I thought Runyararo would be the hit, but to my surpise Nesango (Makandiberekerei) is the most popular track on that album so I cannot say for now,” he said.

“What I can say is that this is also a good album. It is inspired by my journey on the musical scene which has been all about sacrifice.”

Potipher was born on February 16 in Nyanga where he learnt at Mazarura Primary and High Schools.

After scoring 11 points at A Level commercials he then moved to Harare where he enrolled for a diploma in accounting at Southern Africa Association of Accountants.

“I am now working for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in the retail banking department and I must say my working experience and the level of education though not the best has helped me a lot to understand how to run a music business,” he said.

“Growing up one never get the chance to even imagine being a musician especially in Zimbabwe so I must say I am fortunate.”

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