BY WINSTONE ANTONIO IF the dead would at least wake up for a minute to see how the living try to immortalise them, maybe some luminaries would just smile and rest in eternal peace knowing that their legacy will live on well after their departure .
Paul Matavire died in 2005, aged 44, while his career was at its peak.
Wherever the late “Doctor Love” might be resting, he ought to be smiling that his music was not interred together with his bones after a fellow former band member has taken it upon himself to revive his legacy.
Talented rising singer and former Jairos Jiri Band member Knowledge Mbavara has come out of the shell in an effort to rejuvenate Matavire’s legacy.
It is not a secret that the musical genius in Matavire cannot be easily matched and an attempt to fit into his “big shoes” is a mammoth task too.
As difficult as it might be, at least the 32-year-old Mbavara has decided to immortalise Matavire’s legacy.
Interestingly, Matavire’s band was Hit Machine and Mbavara has just named his band Hot Machine.
NewsDay Weekender caught up with Mbavara who shared his dream to revive Matavire’s legacy.
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Who was Matavire? Matavire was a celebrated visually impaired musician and songwriter born on August 3, 1961, in Maranda, Mwenezi district.
He rose to prominence in the 1980s when he joined the Jairos Jiri Band based in Bulawayo at the Jairos Jiri Rehabilitation Centre.
Dr Love, as he was affectionately known by his loyal fans, Matavire had a unique genre of music which often came spiced up with rich poetry.
He was a satirical king and a storyteller of note who could effortlessly delve into societal issues and taboos and come out without offending anyone.
He could tackle serious issues such as sexual abuse at workplaces in a humorous way like in the song Tanga Wandida.
Besides love music which dominated his discography, Matavire was a great social commentator, motivator, teacher and entertainer.
Some of his hit songs included Christmas Yasvika, Nhamo Yousavi, Tanga Wandida and MaU.
His lyrical prowess was supreme.
Sadly, father nature ruled otherwise and invited him to life yonder on October 18, 2005.
Who is Mbavara? Mbavara is a 32-year-old Highfield-based up-and-coming singer. A band leader and composer born in September 1989 who has dedicated himself to revive Matavire’s legacy.
I was part of the Jairos Jiri Band having joined it in 2020, before branching out to form an eight-member (six males and two females) Hot Machine outfit in February this year.
Educational background I did my primary education at Murove Primary School in Buhera South before enrolling at Muzokomba Government High School where I successfully completed my Ordinary Level studies and proceeded to Advanced Level between 2009 and 2010.
Passion for music Music is my passion. I just want to follow in the footsteps of my role model, the legendary Matavire who also happened to be my late father’s friend.
My passion for music started in 2005 when I was in Form 1 playing homemade guitars alongside my elder brother Oswell.
Growing up we used to imitate seasoned artistes like Matavire and Chamunorwa Nebeta. Unlike my brother, I used to listen to more of Matavire’s music and I would then create my own sound.
On instruments, I play acoustic guitar with a keyboard melody sound as I did on songs Chikomba, Paukama and Zorora Wawana.
I then joined Jairos Jiri Band in February 2017 and four years later, I formed the Hot Machine Band inspired by Matavire.
Motivation to revive Matavire’s legacy We discovered that there was no one who had really committed to revive the Matavire legacy and this became our source of inspiration.We are determined to continue with the legend’s legacy until Matavire dances in his grave.
Our band, Hot Machine is tight and I would like to thank Michael “Supermikela” Muchena for his efforts to make the band more vibrant during our recordings.
As the Hot Machine band we have managed to bring on board three members Shanangurai Gwama, Gugulethu Msimanga and Cloud Mkarakati who were part of Matavire’s Hit Machine Band.
I am confident that Matavire’s legacy is in the safe hands of the Hot Machine Band, which is an incarnation of the late legend’s Hit Machine.
Discography So far, we have a six-track album, Sekera Mudende, launched in April, but preparations to launch our second album titled Return of The Doctor are at an advanced stage.
The songs to be featured on the album to be launched during the first week of September are Rudo Ibofu, title track Return of the Doctor, Vabereki Vedu, Matavire Amuka, Ramba Waravira, Ruchiva, Mwari Musiki and Happy Birthday.
Our music is a mixture of rhumba, gospel, jiti and sungura. Just like Matavire’s compositions, our songs are also laden with humour.
We use deep Shona and English for our lyrics. Some of the songs to be featured on the seven-track album are Hot Machine Sounds, Dzora Ndangariro Version 2 and Doctor Vadzoka from Extra Lessons.
Gratitude I would like to thank our loyal fans for their continued support as we seek to revive the legacy of our legend, Matavire.
- Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto