Gweru arts promoter Mubata dies

BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI

PROMINENT Gweru businessman-cum-musician and arts promoter Philemon Mubata has died.

He was 53.

Mubata, who had interests in mining and property under his Big Valley Masters (BVM) company, succumbed to COVID-19 yesterday morning. Apart from recording music, Mubata was an arts promoter and supported up-and-coming artistes in the Midlands province.

He also bankrolled a football team BVM, which was in the Southern Region Division One League.

In the early 2000s, the all-rounder Mubata under the moniker Spocay, recorded a rhumba album at the then Baseline Studios owned by prominent music producer Tony G of the Tula and Bhetuludhe fame.

Mubata’s brother Costa confirmed his death, adding that BVM, as Mubata was affectionately known, would be buried today.

“He will be buried [tomorrow] today at the Destiny Memorial Park in Hertfordshire along the Gweru-Harare Highway,” Costa said.

Reggae icon and founder of the Midlands Arts and Culture Festival (MACfest Zimbabwe) Joe Wailer said the death of Mubata had robbed the creative industry of a man who committed his time to the upliftment of arts in the Midlands province. “Midlands province has lost a great personality who was not only a hardworking businessman, but also a passionate music sponsor who assisted many artistes in the province,” Wailer said.

“Mubata was the first businessperson to sponsor MACfest Zimbabwe when he helped us bring Winky D to Gweru for the first time in 2008. Personally, I have lost a brother and a very dear friend. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.”

He is survived by a wife and four children Wayne, Wensley, Wendy and Wenister.

Mourners are gathered at his house in Northlea, Gweru.

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