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Musicians short-change growth points at Xmas


I REMEMBER quite vividly awaiting Christmas each year.
It was as if everyone worked for Christmas.


My school work was always in order to make sure I did not have to endure the scornful talk of older brothers when they came home for Christmas.
When they finally came with our new sets of clothes, it was always a great experience.

Whether we had to walk to the bus terminus where they disembarked or they drive that year, what mattered was they would have come.
That is one of the reasons for which I never want to miss Christmas paruzevha.

I cannot deny the rural folk the chance of spending the few days with me.

What I miss, however, is probably what we regarded the most important part of Christmas: Going to the shopping centre, in new clothes.
We did not own a radio and we only heard music when we either went to the shops or visited a neighbour that had one.

That made it very important for me and my peers to make sure on Christmas Day whether it rained or not we trekked to the shops.

While I would be priding myself with the new clothes others would be busy showing their nimble-footedness on the dance floor.

I dared not try dancing with my two left feet, that would be a disaster of Hiroshima magnitude.

The hit song for that year would be played repeatedly and no one would mind.

Think of the late Simon Chimbetu’s Tenda, Papa Jose’s Ndochi, Bongo Maffin’s Thathi Sgubu, Pengaudzoke’s Diana, Leonard Zhakata’s Mugove, Vagoni Vebasa and Maruvaenyika among many others that made any serious DJ’s catalogue.

Sadly, there was nothing like great music released for the growth point diehard like in 2014.

Sulumani Chimbetu released a good album, Gunship, but it is not music that can be listened to by any random audience as it has a bit of classic edge to it, or, should I say, it is of a certain class of people.

Jah Prayzah’s latest album came a bit too early in the year and it did not really get to the level set by the preceding one, Tsviriyo.
All there was is Zimdancehall.

Besides, not really appealing to the rural folk, its composition is crude.

Happy people in my view cannot play Zimdancehall music unless they are in some sort of rebellion.

Of course, there are a handful of sober artistes in that genre yet the failure of their peers condemns them all to being a wretched lot unfortunately.
The manners and behaviours of some of them worry any parent with a child listening to that music.

For some reason, Alick Macheso misled the fans that stood by him during a year he endured several lows.

The album that he promised at the end of 2014 is still to come and there still is no hope it will come anytime soon.

Many that followed the late Tongai Moyo may have longed to have his son replace him, but that has not happened, at least yet.
Leonard Zhakata had a good album, but his is not hardcore sungura that some may want to dance to.

After taking the gospel route, Zhakata diluted his old fast-paced growth-point kind of music, trimming down the sungura elements and remaining with a lukewarm beat that cannot be dimmed secular.

Young Tendai Dembo had a great album in my view, but it was never marketed.

Probably, the only new hardcore sungura I heard in 2014 should be Jonah Moyo’s Volume 38 Welcome Back.

I have been playing the Venda version Nthu Fuke, but the quality of the music has forced me to ignore the language barrier.
The album is laden with marvellous rhythms that even I tried to dance to and failed of course.

But, that Moyo is based in South Africa and hardly has live shows in Zimbabwe, has made it difficult for the music to reach the people.

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