BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean budding Chimurenga singer Shepherd “Shapiro” Chimbare says Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo’s lyrical prowess inspired him to follow in the music guru’s footsteps.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style from his Tzaneen base yesterday, Chimbare, who is signed under local record stable Sekemutema Music, said he respected Mapfumo’s music so much because of its originality and quest to preserve cultural beliefs.
“Growing up, I have been a fan of the veteran Chimurenga musician Thomas Mapfumo. His inspirational stories that included touring across the world performing at different concerts inspired me a lot,” he said.
The Buhera-bred singer, who frontlines Shapiro Express and New Chimurenga 4, said through his compositions, he sought to remind people about the importance of cultural identity and values.
“Chimurenga music is one of the pioneering Zimbabwean music genres and it defines our music, especially after independence. Through compositions laden with social commentary that relates to our culture as Africans at large, my vision is to make sure Zimbabwean roots are recognised,” he said.
“Through Chimurenga music, I will try my best to put the country on the world map and I will work hard to preserve it, though it is difficult to make a breakthrough, especially away from home.”
Chimbare said it was an inspirational experience working with contemporary singer Andy Muridzo — born Kudzai Andrew Ngwenya — on a duet titled Ingoma yeZimbabwe, set to hit the market soon.
The single is off Chimbare’s forthcoming eight-track album Hupenyu Hunorema Sekukwira Gomo, which is at mastering stage.
“Through the song Ingoma yeZimbabwe, we are reminding the youthful generation as well as other countries that in Zimbabwe, we are proud of our traditional music that encompasses drums, mbira and hosho, while at the same time reminding our elders that we still have and preserve our traditional music,” he said.
“Having known Andy Muridzo for a long time, it was easy for us to combine our voices for the song Ingoma yeZimbabwe that will be on the market soon. I thank my manager Tich Mushokori for all his efforts towards the production of this song.”
Chimbare said life experiences had taught him to be resilient.
“I started to love music when I was six years old. I grew up having a small guitar I used to play day and night. As I believe in being an independent artiste, my side hustles have kept me strong enough to keep myself focused on my career,” he said.
In his effort to continuously perfect his art, Chimbare said he was planning to engage renowned artistes for guidance.
“There are many veteran artistes in this music industry who I am going to be engaging for ideas that will help me take my musical career to greater heights,” he said.
Chimbare launched his career in 2017 with the release of his debut seven-track album Chivanhu Chedu Chakaendepi?