WHEN budding sungura musician Killion Manyika collaborated with American guitarist Mathew Wasowski at the Alema Records on the song Madzvinyu Asina Miswe (Lizards Without Tails), little did he know he would receive numerous calls to explain his composition.
Manyika told NewsDay Life & Style that lizard tails are mythically believed to be the most effective love potion used by women to make men submissive and do household chores commonly done by women. The mythical belief, however, may have actually been a precursor to the contemporary gender activism which encourages equal responsibility in carrying out household chores such as sweeping, washing, fetching water and cooking between women and men.
“Roles change in marriage and some activities should be dominated by either females or males, while people stick to their culture,” he said.
Manyika believes: “If you come across lizards without tails near your homes, just pray that you conquer the dormant lifestyle that comes with this.”
The question is: does it follow that all lizards without tails are synonymous with love potions given to men.
One wishes Wasowski was available to share his Western side of the story since he hails from societies where the issue of gender roles is defined differently.
“It becomes meaningless when men dominate the kitchen and washing, while women who carry children in their tummies become less active. Women should take a lead in their traditional roles,” Manyika added.
Manyika formed his band Makuwerere Sounds in 2000 after a long stint with Newton Chezachozengwa Matemai-led mbira ensemble Nheravauya Brothers as a drum player.
Makuwerere Sounds is a household name in Chitungwiza and the group consists of Manyika (song writer, vocalist and lead guitarist), Tafadzwa Goredema (bass guitarist), Goodson Nkomanazo (rhythm guitarist), John Madondo (drums), Tavengwa Manyika and Collen Jasi (backing vocalists), Fungai Chabwinja, Kelvin Manyika and Casper Takatsikisa (dancers).
Makuwerere Sounds has four albums to date, namely: Tipeiwo Nzeve, Ini Dhu-uu, Muparabasa and Waiting For Soon To Come.
Wasowski hogged the limelight at the late former President Robert Mugabe’s 89th birthday when he teamed up with Manyika and Makuwerere Sounds to entertain the guests.
Wasowski played the rhythm guitar on all songs on the Waiting For Soon To Come album featuring the track Madzvinyu Asina Miswe.
“We have nurtured our relationship since way back and in 2019 when we collaborated with Matthew Wasowski on Waiting For Soon To Come music album which features songs Madzvinyu, Ndiri Muchiki, Timwe Tose, Kutenda and Farewell.”