Boost for Nicholas Zakaria arts centre

Nicholas Zakaria

RENOWNED sungura singer and Khiama Boys frontman Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria’s efforts to set up an arts centre to be named after him has received a boost after a local company, LoneStar Construction and Engineering, pledged to design the centre.


The Nicholas Zakaria Arts Centre, which will be located in Chitungwiza, will offer a platform for artistes to share ideas, identify, nurture and develop talent.

Madzibaba has been using his house as a base to mentor up-and-coming artistes wishing to make a breakthrough in the cut-throat music industry.

His manager Lazarus Zakaria yesterday confirmed to NewsDay Life & Style that the architectural designs for the centre had started in earnest.

“We have partnered with LoneStar who toured the construction site and they are now working on the design. However, we are still open to partnerships as there is a lot that needs to be done,” he said. “We are working with Esteem Communications to engage other partners and corporates for support.”

LoneStar managing director Samuel Zenda said they were optimistic that the designs would be completed in the shortest possible time.

“At the launch of Nicholas Zakaria’s Zomvelamvela video two weeks ago, we made a pledge to support this legend with the design of his arts centre. So on Sunday, we were on site to check out the place and to commence work on the designs,” he said.

“As LoneStar, we believe in the potential of the local arts industry and we would like to honour the Senior Lecturer for his contribution to local arts industry. We pledge to be part of this journey by providing the much-needed technical support until the project comes to fruition.”

Esteem Communications creative director Walter Chiyanja said they were working with Zakaria’s management to engage various partners to come on board.

“The hope is that beyond live performances, the Senior Lecturer (Zakaria) gets to have a fall back plan that will give him something to retire on while giving young talent an opportunity to develop their art,” he said.

“The centre will come with all the facilities aimed at developing local arts. These include the recording studio, training facilities and live performance halls. It will also have recreational facilities and restaurants,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zakaria said work on the release of his joint album, Zadziso, with fellow sungura singer Simon Mutambi, was at an advanced stage.