Kunonga returns with new offering

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

AWARD-WINNING afro-jazz singer and songwriter, Victor Kunonga , is set to bounce back to the music arena with his latest offering — Ndatsva — largely themed on tolerance and the power of love.

Kunonga, who rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of his debut album, Such is Life a year earlier, told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style that the new album’s main message is the importance of learning from one’s past mistakes.

“Every album that I do carries different messages and for this one, I am focusing on teaching the power of learning from previous mistakes. If you don’t learn
from that, you may end up regretting,” he said.

“The album also speaks of loving one another and tolerance as well as looking into the future. We, as a nation, should tolerate each other because the more we
do that, the more we will be able to build the future for our nation.”

The Maidarirei hit-maker said he has roped in some of the country’s best musicians, whom he believes will be relevant to particular tracks.

Those roped in include Mbungo Stars’ Lucky Chikuwa, Sharon Chisha, Norman Masamba, Joyce Warikandwa, Wilfred Mafrika and Chengeto Brown.

“I wrote all the songs, except the one that I co-wrote with a friend from Australia, Toby Ralpf, the English version of Masithandaneni. I produced all tracks
with the help of my longtime friend, Manasa Mujawo, who features on all the keyboards,” Kunonga said.

“I will launch the album differently and the album will first be available online. The fourth Ndebele track is a symbol of where I grew up and my dearest home,
Bulawayo, though I’ve the English and Shona versions of the same, but not on this album. The song carries the message of love and tolerance, wherever we live
and wherever we go.”

Kunonga’s love for singing was discovered at Hugh Beadle Primary School in Bulawayo, although he would prune the passion by playing marimba at Northlea High
School in Bulawayo.

Although he started writing songs in 1997, he failed to enrol at the College of Music in Bulawayo two years later as he did not possess at least a single music
instrument, which was a requirement for enrolment.

The award-winning musician, who taught himself the acoustic guitar, rose to fame with his second album, Uyo, which saw him bagging a gong at the Zimbabwe Music
Awards in 2006.

Inspired by Thomas Mapfumo as well as by the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Chiwoniso Maraire, Kunonga’s sound is a mixture of traditional rhythms of the African
drum, including mbira and marimba.

With songs in both Shona and Ndebele, Kunonga has themed his music around child rights, marital abuse and peace.

In 2007, Kunonga was appointed as one of the ambassadors against poverty in Southern Africa by the National Association of non-governmental organisations.

His discography is made up of Such is Life (2003), Uyo (2006), Hatineti (2011), Kwedu (2014) and Ndatsva (2019).

Kunonga told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style that the album will be officially unveiled on local radio stations next week.

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