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Ma Eli’s funeral service at Byo Amphitheatre... as Kanjiva dancer laid to rest

Life & Style
Popularly known as Ma Eli in the showbiz scene, Mathe died last weekend in a road accident that also claimed the life of the band’s drummer Thembinkosi “Maviri” Mpofu.

A sombre atmosphere is set to engulf the Bulawayo Amphitheatre today as fans, relatives and friends briefly gather for the late Insimbi ZeZhwane band’s co-owner Elvis “Ma Eli” Mathe’s funeral service.

Popularly known as Ma Eli in the showbiz scene, Mathe died last weekend in a road accident that also claimed the life of the band’s drummer Thembinkosi “Maviri” Mpofu.

The accident happened on Saturday near Fatima High School along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway.

Other band members who were seriously injured were moved to Mpilo Central Hospital from St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane where they are reported to be recovering.

In a joint statement, Underground Entertainment and Insimbi ZeZhwane band management said from Bulawayo Amphitheatre, Ma Eli’s body would depart for Tsholotsho where it is expected to be laid to rest tomorrow in Magabelana village.

“We would like to thank and acknowledge Kingdom Blue Funeral Service for the role they played in offering full free burial and logistics of our fallen heroes. We also acknowledge the public and fellow artistes for the contribution they have made,” read part of the statement.

The Insimbi ZeZhwane band started recording in 2015 and to date, boasts a total of seven albums which include Iseqa Mgwaqo, Inhlanzi Encane, Sizalendaba, Dikidiki, Inganekwane, Impande Yeminyela and Imbemba.

The band had a tremendous impact on the local music scene and has bagged several awards, including the Bulawayo Arts Awards. It was also nominated for the Outstanding Tshibilika/Rhumba Act and the Outstanding Song of the Year for its song Imbemba at this year’s Zimbabwe Music Awards.

With Ma Eli at the helm, Insimbi ZeZhwane created a unique Rhumba sound which brought it instant recognition becoming the most sought-after rhumba band for live performances in the Matabeleland region and Bulawayo.

Meanwhile, dancer Tatenda Ishmael Zamadamba famed for the kanjiva dance after he featured on the Kanjiva music video by dancehall artist Enzo Ishall was laid to rest yesterday at his Murewa rural home.

Born and bred in Murewa, Zamadamba, who was popularly known as Dimas or Gumkum Syrup on the showbiz, scene succumbed to headache and an ulcer-related illness on Tuesday.

Before coming to Mbare, Dimas was well known for singing and dancing at the Anglican Church in Murewa.

The late singer’s sister Talent Zamadamba told NewsDay Life & Style that the death of Dimas was a great loss to the family.

“Death has separated us from Tatenda. He will be laid to rest today (yesterday),” she said.

“He was not married, but had some kids. Haa vakomana, munongovaziva (you know how men behave).”

Popular producer DJ Fantan said he was saddened by the death of Dimas, whom he described as a respectable artiste.

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