GIFTED and outspoken musician, Hosiah Chipanga comes across as an eccentric artiste, but the power in his music — which is usually biting satire targeted at the powerful and mighty — is undeniable.
By Takemore Mazaruse
For many years, Chipanga’s music has been ignored in the State media because of his criticism of injustice, cronyism and other such vices associated with political power.
His fortunes in his personal life have also waned over the years, nearly reducing him to a basket case.
The musician — popular for several hit tracks including Kwachu Kwachu — was recently thrown a lifeline by Club Joy Centre in Highfield, when he staged a sold out gig at the weekend, demonstrating the popularity he still commands among music lovers.
Fate, however, is often cruel as it has left many an artiste famous but poor.
But Chipanga, a self-styled prophet-cum-politician, and everything else in-between, took fans down memory lane with his rich but controversial discography.
Dressed in his usual garb, blue in colour this time, Chipanga gyrated to his usual dance routines occasionally allowing dancers to join him on stage to share in the camaraderie that binds the musician to his fans.
Club Joy Centre proprietor, David Mudzudzu said Chipanga was a respected musician, who must not be left to sit on his talent.
“Hosiah Chipanga is a living legend and, as Club Joy Centre, we felt compelled to bring him back in the limelight. As you can see the fans love him and they appreciate his art, hence, the importance of this welcome back gig,” Mudzudzu said.
Club Joy Centre is an open air entertainment and braai joint in Highfield, which has carved its niche around arts promotion and open air entertainment.
“There is no better way to re-launch an artist of Chipanga’s pedigree than through this open-for-all gig, where you are guaranteed of crowds. We will be making sure Mudhara Hosiah stays in the limelight through giving him regular slots,” Mudzudzu said.
Chipanga was elated by the magic moments he enjoyed on stage, from which he had been kept away by circumstances for a long time. Given the range of creativity, it is indisputable that this music genius still has a lot to offer.
The elated Chipanga, who could not believe this stroke of good fortune, said it felt good to be back and connect with the multitudes of fans that thronged the popular Highfield joint.
“Music is my first love and I am happy to be entertaining fun-loving Zimbabweans, especially after some time away from the stage. Yes, I am still in it, but performing before such an appreciative crowd and in the capital is good for my career,” he said.
Fans, who thronged the venue to witness what Chipanga had to offer on stage were unanimous that his career was set to take off anew, following the life raft that has been thrown his way to rescue a music career that was nearly tumbling headlong into a ditch.
“This is a big boost for Chipanga’s music career and we thank Club Joy Centre for bringing him back into the limelight. This is arts promotion in its true essence and Chipanga must make the most of this opportunity so that he doesn’t lose the spotlight,” one fan said.
Chipanga last made headlines with an album that had a late national hero, Solomon Mujuru’s dedication song titled Gamba and at one time featured at his surviving wife Joice Mujuru’s political rallies before he went silent.
Before then, he had again made headlines when he launched a church called Messiah Apostolic Institution Prophetically People’s Institution (Mapipi) at Dangamvura Beit Hall in Mutare.