BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
THE long-awaited documentary chronicling iconic gospel musician Machanic Manyeruke’s contribution to the development of the genre in Zimbabwe has been wrapped up and is now awaiting post-production review before its release, NewsDay Life & Style has established.
The shooting of the documentary, which commenced in January last year, was superintended by award-winning American filmmaker, James Ault.
Manyeruke confirmed that the film was just about to undergo technical review to ensure perfection ahead of its release.
“It’s coming soon. At the moment we are expecting it to be reviewed by a few selected people that include myself. If everything is okay, I will give the producer the green light to take it to the public, but in case there are amendments needed, they will be effected before the premiere,” he said.
Ault last year told congregants at the Salvation Army Chitungwiza Citadel Church, where Manyeruke worships, that he saw it befitting to produce the documentary in honour of the pathfinding musician’s work.
“From time to time I have been filming about Christianity in Africa. I have filmed in Ghana and Zimbabwe. I began to like a lot of Baba Manyeruke’s music, so I decided it will be great to tell the story of his life. That’s why I am here today filming,” he told fellow congregants at the time.
“As you know his life is also a journey in Christ, in the Salvation Army, with this congregation. We are just trying to capture a bit of his life here and those who know him well will also tell us his story.”
Manyeruke, who was born on August 16, 1942 is one of the top five notable gospel music pioneers in Zimbabwe.
Despite the change of members over the years, the renowned musician, popularly known as Baba Manyeruke, has managed to maintain the Puritans’ original music style and beat throughout his career.
He was one of the very few musicians who held fort even at a time when gospel music did not have significant intake among music lovers, producing over 25 albums even when he had not realised significant profits from his work.
Manyeruke released his first album, Zakewu, in 1984 backed by The Puritans after a long spell of raw deals from record companies and producers sceptical about gospel music finding takers in the mass market.
But after getting the much-needed break, the musician started releasing more albums. Some of his most popular songs include Josefa, Moses Murenje, Rudo Serwa Peter, Madhimoni and Makoroto.