Sungura, arguably Zimbabwe’s music staple genre from the 1970s, has over the last few years taken heavy blows from urban grooves and, currently, Zimdancehall.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
With Tongai Moyo gone and Alick Macheso probably over the hill in his lengthy, fruitful music career as a sungura fundi —and Somandla Ndebele forced out to far-flung farms and rural outposts — sungura is crying for a new voice.
With zimdancehall chanters releasing riddims around the clock, sungura music is under threat.
However, the future of sungura in Zimbabwe appears to have found a saviour in Tatenda Pinjisi (pictured), whose debut album Rumbidzo Kumusiki, has proved that the young artiste is destined for greater heights.
Tatenda, sungura artiste Howard Pinjisi’s younger brother, is riding high with the track Saina set to become a soundtrack at many weddings — as it is receiving massive airplay on local radio stations.
With most of his lyrics carrying gospel messages, Pinjisi has proved his mettle and skills in playing the lead and rhythm guitars.
“I sing sungura gospel because it is my wish for everyone to receive my music, both believers and non-believers,” he said.
Some of the popular songs on the albums include Masimba, Mweya Waneta and Masunika Shangu.
Asked whether he will maintain the same standards on his second album, the 26-year-old musician said he is not under pressure and that he has begun sampling songs off his new album at live shows.
“I am not under pressure to release another album, or that I will fail to maintain the level set by my debut album. I will continue doing my best. I am already sampling songs off my upcoming album during live shows and the response is good,” he said.
“I will release my second album anytime soon. I am yet to name it, but it has songs like Tariro, Ben 10 and Hossana, among others.”
Known as Spanner Boy, Pinjisi was born on August 7, 1991 in Katsukunya Village in Mutoko and did his early education at Katsukunya Primary. His music career began while in Grade Six before stepping his foot in the studio (Grammar Records) while doing Form 3 when he was an instrumentalist on his brother Howard’s debut album, Umbiridzo.
In 2007, he came to Harare and joined Zvishavane Sounds as a rhythm guitarist with Howard in the same ensemble led by Gift Amuli.
He left Zvishavane Sounds in February 2013 and became a session artiste with a number of bands.
In the same year he became a member of the popular UMOJA group before going solo in 2015 after setting up his own recording label Super Cream Studios.
He fronts the Holy Super Sounds band and is currently enjoying favours from promoters as far as live shows are concerned.
On December 23, 2015 he released his debut album that has received an overwhelming response. He also did videos for some of songs with the hit track Saina attracting over 84 000 YouTube views in eight months.
There was an outcry after the song Saina got position seven on Radio Zimbabwe Coca Cola Top 50 with his fans claiming that he deserved the top spot that was occupied by Leonard Zhakata’s song Madam Boss.