BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
AWARD-WINNING musician Obert Chari, who hogged the limelight through his popular track Mebo, is set to release his third offering Ubuntu/Hunhu on Monday.
The musician broke new grounds after releasing Mebo which literally became a national anthem and left many fans wondering if he was going to maintain the high tempo he had set for himself. This time around, he has come up with an early Christmas present which everyone has been waiting for.
He talks to NewsDay Life & Style about his journey.
The new album
Yes, we are going to release our seven-track album and we gave the album the name Ubuntu/Hunhu because it’s rich with teachings of the tradition of our nation. We want everyone whose mindsets have probably been changed by new technologies after going abroad in search of greener pastures to turn back and protect their culture, which they practised growing up.
This album I see it as an album that is above standards because I spent a lot of time perfecting it because Mebo album gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people with different ideas in the music industry.
I think the biggest challenge I have faced in my musical career was the breakthrough year. If a project makes such a huge impact to fans, they start viewing that artiste through resources and material lenses, but with me, it’s different.
It was tough in my first days, but now, I have learnt to remain strong and work hard in order to achieve greatness and also place my hope on God because he is the one who made me the person I am today.
Yes, I did collaborations with a lot of musicians who are from different genres such as Allanah (Zimdancehall), Daniel Mhere (gospel), Ritchard Femai (sungura), and also the Diversity Music Collective, a music group from Australia, of which we have a video for the song Mugidhi, which was released yesterday. I look forward to doing more collaborations so that I learn a lot of things from other artistes and also get new ideas in the process.
True, I face a lot of rumours which I read even in local newspapers. I also hear things being said about me by other people. People tend to have different readings of what’s being said in some of the stories and they make their own conclusions without verifying facts. Fame and rumours are inseparable, they walk hand in hand. But I just take it as is, that it’s rumours. I have also learnt to deal with negative publicity associated with the industry.
I want my projects to reach out to various parts of the world and to make sure that the teachings I have reach to the targeted audiences.
COVID-19 didn’t affect me that much. By the time the national lockdwn was imposed, I was already in the studio, so it gave me more time to work on my new album Ubuntu/Hunhu as well as other upcoming projects.
One of my favourite songs is Ubuntu/Hunhu because it talks about how proud I am of my culture and tradition and where we come from.
The other is Nhava Isingabvinze, a track full of teachings. There are other tracks that I didn’t mention which make me cry if I play them because they are emotional.
Support from family
On my first album, my father told me to stop music and search for a job that suits my qualifications, but what is surprising is he funded this album in terms of studio time. Also, my wife, Marble, assisted me in making the right choice for my outfits.
Best kept secret
People should know that some of the deeper messages portrayed in my songs come from Zimbabwe Christian Church leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, but I just put my talent to use and make it unique for people to listen to.