COVID-19 derails Sagombeto’s return



FORGOTTEN yesteryear sungura singer Rangarirai Sagombeto , who was part of R&K African Sounds, is set to end a 10-year sabbatical with the release of his sixth 10-track album titled Hochekoche, which features some top artistes.

Sagombeto emerged on the showbiz scene in 1999 alongside his partner Kelvin Chikowore as co-founders of R&K African Sounds, an outfit famed for the hit song Tina.

The duo, however, later split to pursue solo projects, with Sagombeto, who is now based in the border town of Beitbridge where he operates a clearing agent company, forming Shasharume Express.

Before taking a sabbatical, Sagombeto had released five albums namely Dama Rakanaka, Raramo, Mhemberero, Kamusambo and Garai Murudo.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, the 44-year-old singer said he had taken a sabbatical from the music industry after realising that it was no longer viable.

“As you are all aware, economic hardships had affected the nation and the people could no longer afford to attend to shows. To make matters worse, the so-called promoters were no longer accommodative, hence I had to keep it low,” he said.

Sagombeto said he had finished recording his latest album Hochekoche, which features Sulumani Chimbetu, Norman Tapambwa, Gift Amuli and Tito Vhinyu, but the launch had been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic which has grounded most businesses.

“I was supposed to launch my new album Hochekoche during the second week of this month (January), but all the plans have been suspended by this 30-day COVID-19-induced national lockdown imposed by government,” Sagombeto said.

“On this album, I have managed to get the services of veteran artistes in sungura circles, who include Sulumani Chimbetu, Norman Tapambwa, Gift Amuli and Tito Vhinyu, to spice up some of the tracks.”

Sagombeto said the album, which has tracks Manjenjenje, Tsotsi, Chigara Matombo, Pamureza, Ndisuke Mukanwa, Kapoto Kebota, Kumwe Kukundikana, Muchina Wangu, Wamuri Kusema and Wararama, carried mature lyrics.

“The album Hochekoche is basically about working together and in this case, I had to rope in some renowned artistes to feature on some tracks. The album has a couple of mature lyrics and I must say Pamureza is likely to be a hit track,” he said.

Sagombeto said the song Pamureza was a commentary on what is happening in Zimbabwe, where people are interested in fighting and tend to forget about the future of the country.

“Normally, we encourage people to look up to our national flag for the red colour representing the blood shed by the gallant sons and daughters during the liberation war. It is a message from a departed soldier turning in his grave watching people wasting the gains of his efforts,” he said.

“It is a pity that people are busy fighting instead of correcting the situation politically, economically and socially. I am one person who is fed up with Zimbabwe’s situation.”

Sagombeto said the new-look Shasharume Express comprised him (on lead vocals), Elliah Moffat and Ndabezinhle Hlongwane (bass guitar), Faston Mubvumbi (lead guitar), Gift Mhondiwa (rhythm guitar) and Bruce Shava (on drums).

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