BY AGATHA CHUMA
A CANADA-BASED philosopher, entrepreneur and author Matshona Dhliwayo once observed that: “A champion is one who is remembered. A legend is one who is never forgotten.”
Among many of Zimbabwe’s legends is the late Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi whose legacy seems to never fade. His music keeps on inspiring both established and up-and-coming artistes. Tuku was known for hosting packed shows which never flopped. With his husky voice, he was among the most recognised to emerge on the Zimbabwean music scene, earning himself a devoted following across Africa and beyond.
Jazz artiste Chiwoniso Maraire is yet another late legend — known for her melodic mbira rhythm which earned her the title mbira exponent.
She is still inspiring artistes even today, long after her death. She used to pull huge crowds at her shows both locally and internationally just like Tuku.
The same applies to the late Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu and the still enduring Leonard Zhakata and Thomas Mapfumo, whose old school songs are inspiring a lot of artistes mainly because of their rich and strong lyrics.
With many artistes having been inspired by these old school musicians, up-and-coming Afro-jazz artiste Prosper “Jazz Prosper” Mutsokoti could not help, but fall in love with the old legends from whom he took a leaf.
Mutsokoti told NewsDay Life & Style that his debut extended play (EP), From Africa With Love which carries nine tracks, was inspired by old school musicians, adding that it mainly dwells on love.
“On the EP, I divided my nine tracks into side A and B. The first five tracks Bvunze, Mutadzi, Zuva, Ndinewe and Pakuyambuka carry a deep African vibe. They contain a sample of some of old songs like Vanhu Vatema by Mapfumo bringing out the old beautiful rhythms that we used to feel when listening to those artistes.
“Side B with tracks Ghetto story, Bayowe, Come to the party and Ndamuwana carries the Afro-beat thus mixing both old school and contemporary songs on a single project,” he said.
Jazz Prosper said he learnt from the legends that one could only know where they were going if they knew where they were coming from.
“I have learnt to stay true, original and always include my identity in what I do, just like Tuku who always mentions Dande, a place he originates from, in his songs,” he said.
He also saluted his fans for their unwavering support.
Jazz Prosper collaborated with Roberto, Zambian RnB singer on One in a million (2016) and Mama (2020) and also with Jah Prayzah on Shereni (2018). He is signed to Anashe Media Group alongside Young Nash and Reverb7.
- Follow Agatha on Twitter@AgathaChuma