Mebo: This could just be Chari’s arrival

JUST last week, a colleague recommended that I watch a music video of one little-known Obert Chari and ZCC Hakireni Stars, and the song titled Mebo reminded me of my serial heartbreaks in college, back in 2005.

Tapiwa Zivira

My college days happened when hipster jeans and bum shorts were the trend, and clubs like Synergy and The Tube were the places students hung out.

Naturally, as a college boy, I was expected to take my girlfriend to one of these places of fun, or at least take her out for a pizza or some other fast food outlet in town.

At that time, I was dating this ‘yellow-bone’ girl from the affluent northern part of Harare, and I hailed from the, well, not so nice western suburb of Highfield, where we did not have the same luxuries that my girl had.

She had an auntie in the United States who sent her the fashionable clothes of the day, and she always had the rare US dollar notes in her pink purse, and I was just some broke college bloke who had a single pair of shoes that had seen too many months, a couple of tees and pants, and I could hardly afford to buy my girl a soft drink, let alone take her out for a pizza.

Essentially, the opposite happened and she took care of my lunch and other basic needs.

But that was not until someone else showed her that men were supposed to take care of their princess that before long, she disappeared into the fast-paced city life, another guy holding her hand.

I had no choice but to accept that some penniless, poverty-stricken college boy did not deserve her, and all I could do was to lower my ambitions.

So, when I listened to this Mebo song, I could tell that despite the heavy influence of electronic keyboards, the song – which carries a heavy but steady and smooth bassline and a calm lead guitar accompanied by some ‘shy’ computer-generated trumpet effects, was not just a great track, but one whose message I could relate to.

It is not easy to define the genre of the song, although it has a heavy sungura influence that is inclined towards dendera and some elements of the ZCC’s famous drumbeats and trumpets.

The ZCC drumbeats and trumpets are, however, perfectly truncated to blend into their entire instrumentation.

Far from the message, which is about a man from a poor family reaffirming his love to a beautiful girl, Chari caps the song with a beautiful interflow between leading and backing vocals.

The entire song, which runs for 13 minutes, and is already gaining great attention since being uploaded online with two other tracks in April, is enough to assert Chari as a star.

The three tracks — Mebo, Ngoma Yemugidhi, and Gombo – which all have the same sungura and ZCC drum and trumpet influence, have gained a combined
245 000 views on YouTube.

In an interview he posted online, Chari said he was still experimenting with the melodies and beats and needed to add some variety to his songs.

It appears the sun is just starting to shine for Chari, who has only two albums to his name. He is a man to watch in the near future.

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