REGGAE fans and artistes have described Transit Crew’s long serving guitarist Nicholas ‘Samaita’ Zindi as one of the best instrumentalists whose contribution to the growth of reggae music in Zimbabwe was immeasurable.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Samaita, who was 64, succumbed to prostate cancer on Tuesday afternoon. He will be buried at Zororo Gardens Memorial Park tomorrow.
The group’s ardent followers expressed shock at the departure of the veteran artiste who also mentored a number of young reggae musicians including Cello Culture, Emmanuel “Mannex” Motsi and J-Fari.
Tawonga Mafundikwa, who is part of the ensemble’s management team, said the void left by Zindi’s death “in the music industry cannot be filled.”
“His contribution to the growth of reggae music in Zimbabwe is unmatched…. We are in distress. The godfather of reggae music is no more,” he said.
The talented artiste had taken a break from music as his health deteriorated.
Samaita died barely two years after the death of another founding member and bassist Munyaradzi “Bhudhi” Nyemba.
German-based arts practitioner and journalist, Plot Mhako, said Samaita left a legacy as seen by how Transit Crew groomed young artistes to keep reggae music alive.
“It’s a dark day for Zimbabwe and for reggae music and the entire arts community. This comes barely two years after the passing on of another Band member Munya Nyemba.
Transit Crew did not only inspire reggae artistes but personally I was influenced a lot by the band,” he said.
Samaita worked with the late Nyemba, Anthony “Tony” Liba, Emmanuel Frank and Culture T to grow Transit Crew into a formidable outfit.
South Africa-based reggae singer Solomon “Rootsman Spice” Tokwe who was groomed at Transit Crew said: “I never thought this day would come. We travelled a long journey together in the music industry… You travelled your journey king until we meet again.”
Samaita is survived by his wife, Annamore, and three children.