THE late renowned musician, songwriter and guitarist Leonard Dembo is set to be honoured posthumously for his outstanding contribution to the growth of the local music industry at the Masvingo Music Awards ceremony slated for April 7 at Charles Austin Theatre.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
One of the organisers, Proud Masekesa, confirmed the development, saying Dembo was a major contributor to the development of local music.
“This year we have decided to honour sungura music star Leonard Dembo with the prestigious Life Time Achievement Award. The growth of music in Zimbabwe cannot be well-documented without mentioning his name. Years after his death his music remains a staple diet for many music lovers even the younger generation,” he said.
Dembo’s son, Tendai, was delighted by the recognition bestowed on his father. Tendai said he would be glad if he is given the opportunity to play his father’s music at the awards ceremony.
“It brings great joy to me and the rest of the family to see people honouring the great legend. This time around it’s Masvingo. It is my wish that if possible we get the platform to play a few hits done by my father with my band to pay tribute to him,” he said.
This is not the first time for Dembo to be honoured posthumously as he also received an award at the CBZ A-Academy talent search show together with jazz music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi in 2006.
Dembo died at 37 in 1996 following a long illness.
Although Venenzia was described by many as a timeless hit, it was Chitekete that really established Dembo as a distinct artist. He rose to stardom with this hit which was played as a signature tune at the 1996 Miss World Pageant held in Namibia and was voted Zimbabwe’s Silver Jubilee best song, despite competing with other great compositions such as Mugove by Leonard Zhakata.