Amos Mahendere bounces back

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

RENOWNED gospel musician Amos Mahendere of the famed Mahendere Brothers has disclosed that he is set for a comeback after several years on sabbatical, during which he said he had been working behind the scenes helping up-and-coming artistes achieve their dreams.

The musician, who has just released a single titled Rudimbwa, told NewsDay Life & Style that he was working on a new album titled Serendipity which will mark his full return to the industry.

“There are things that happened to me unexpectedly which are good and hence I named my forthcoming project Serendipity, which will be released in mid-June. I might not release the full project because of the timing, but I will release part of it with visuals and audio,” he said.

Mahendere fronted the star-studded family outfit Mahendere Brothers — which included then teenager Michael Mahendere — that became a household name in the 1990s following the release of their debut album Hupenyu Hwepanyika.

The musician said during his silent years he was working to promote Michael’s music career.

“I cannot say I had taken the back seat, but I was doing something. I was hired to work at a certain company as a producer/director in 2010 and there was too much work which needed my attention and I also opened space for my younger brother, Michael, to further his career,” he said.

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“Michael has his music and he said he wanted to do something and I supported him, for instance, Makanaka Jesu which became an instant hit, I marketed it and even sold 10 000 copies.

So I can say I fathered musicians. I have many artistes who came through me, for example Kudzi Nyakudya; I took him from school and helped him record the song Gadziriro and the same goes for Fungisai (Zvakavapano-Mashavave).”

Mahendere said he still had fond memories of the combination of gifts that existed within the Mahendere Brothers, which enabled them to dominate the gospel music genre for many years.

“I used to enjoy the combination between me and my brothers. The gifts were an inborn thing and we had originality,” he said.

The musician said he was disturbed by the emerging crop of gospel artistes that he said often lacked originality as they copied Western and South African styles of gospel music.

“Gospel musicians are copying Westerners and South African music and when you listen to their vibes, they are just similar and there is need for originality. For instance, if you listen to the sounds of Baba (Mechanic) Manyeruke, the Charambas, Pastor (Lawrence) Haisa, the Mahenderes, Elias Musakwa, and Fungisai, you can see there is originality and we didn’t copy each other because legends are original and do not just copy from the internet,” he said.

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