In the groove: Where have these ZiFM presenters gone?

Standard Style
Within the first six months of this station, presenters started to leave one-by-one for a variety of reasons.  More than 10 out of the 20 persons mentioned above are no longer with the station.

By Fred Zindi

“Hello there! Is that Fred Zindi?”

“Yes it is. May I know who is calling me?”

“Bo-oy! What a relief! You know I’ve been trying to call you in the last two days without success? Your phone is difficult to get through to.

“Anyway, my name is Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa. I am calling you on behalf of Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira. Do you know him?”

“Yes I do”.

”Well, as you probably know, he was granted a licence to set up a private commercial radio station and he would like popular musicians and actors in Zimbabwe as presenters on his station. You have been selected as one of the presenters. If you are interested, come for an audition next Tuesday at 4pm at 7 Kenilworth Road in Newlands.”

Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa

This is the conversation that went on sometime in June, 2012 between Parirenyatwa and myself. The news came to me like a bolt from the blue. I was busy preparing Transit Crew, the band I was managing at the time for shows in Harare. At the same time, I was also assisting Oliver Mtukudzi, with his application for a radio licence, which was later rejected.

On the Tuesday, I went for the audition at 4pm I was surprised to see a gathering of more than 20 people who included musicians and singer/songwriters — Cindy Munyavi, Plaxedes Wenyika, Patience Musa, Kudzai Sevenzo, Sanni Makhalima and his brother, Delani. No auditions took place, but we were welcomed and addressed by Mandiwanzira, owner of ZiFM radio station who aspired to have the best radio station in the country. We were introduced to the rest of the gathering at that meeting, first to Tonderai Katsande, the station manager, then Kimble Rodgers,  Parirenyatwa, Candice Mwakalyelye, Hosea “The Hitman” Singende, Temba Mkanda, Danny That Guy, Captain Awesome, Marc Pozzo, DJ Eskay, Alois Bunjira, Tinopona Mapereke Katsande, aka Tin Tin, Love Johns (aka Busy Doing Nothing), Everisto Mwatse and three  members of Judgement Yard. The CEO of the radio station was introduced to us as Susan Makore.

Delani Makhalima

From the following Wednesday each and everyone of us would go for training as a presenter in order to familiarise ourselves with the new equipment, which had been recently imported from  DB Elettronica of Italy.  The training would be done by  the Italian engineers who had come to install the equipment together with Delani, who had had  experience using the same equipment during his stay in South Africa.

After my training, I was given the Sunday morning Old School slot from 9am until 12noon.

This was the period when Mtukudzi’s application to have a radio licence had been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. No reasons were given for this rejection. I rang up Mtukudzi to console him and told him that as  Zimbabwe’s top artiste, he deserved the right to airplay and I would create a This and That slot during the first hour of my Sunday shows, which would make sure that I would play at least one Tuku song in every programme. He was pleased by that gesture. The first song by Tuku, which I played during my first presentation in August 2012 was Shamiso from the album Sarawoga. The second hour was dedicated to Old School Reggae music.  I was then assisted in the third hour by Munya Simango, a jazz enthusiast. Together we created a slot for jazz  and I also promised Patience Musa that I would plug her music during this hour.

Within the first six months of this station, presenters started to leave one-by-one for a variety of reasons.  More than 10 out of the 20 persons mentioned above are no longer with the station.

First to go was Munyavi, who was a co-presenter with The Hitman. They have both left the station. After six months, I was told by Makore that my Sunday morning slot would be given to Delani and I would be moved to some ridiculous midnight time on a Wednesday. I told her that I could not do it as this would be my sleeping time. I guess that was her polite way of sending me off. I also knew that I had lost my number one listener, Mtukudzi.  When I spoke to Kudzai Sevenzo later that day, she had also been removed. We both knew that that was the end of our honeymoon with the radio station.

The Hitman was said to have rubbed the authorities at ZiFM up the wrong way. He left the station and is now a farmer in Chirumanzu. Katsande, who was quite popular with her morning listeners was involved in some scandal and was told to quit the station.  Parirenyatwa, who was involved in some political debate was also told to quit the station. Wenyika stayed on for a while as she came on Sunday evenings, but she also left after a while.

Mwakalyelye an award winner also left the station. Delani is back in South Africa. His brother, Sanni is now in Australia. Love Johns also quit the station in unclear circumstances and is now based in the United Kingdom. Makore also quit the station.

It was Musa, who became resilient with her Xhale morning show and we all thought that she had now built a career at ZiFM as she had stayed the longest. But the news that she had now quit the station to work for BancABC shocked some of us. The announcement from the bank came as follows:

“We are glad to introduce you to Patience Musa — our new digital marketing, public relations and communications manager under the marketing department with effect from February 1, 2022 . This name rings a bell right?  Prior to joining the bank, Patience worked as a radio presenter and producer at ZiFM Stereo for nine years. She also worked as a journalist for Business Times and Harare Magazine during this period. Musa holds a BSc Media and Society Honours Degree from Midlands State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication and Media Studies with the University of Zimbabwe. Welcome to the A-Team Patience!”

Patience Musa

Although mention is made about Musa’s other credentials, no mention is made about her music career which is what I believe lifted her up to become a radio and television personality and brought her to fame. All the above stuff is rooted in music.

Many people are surprised to know that Musa is a musician. She is more famous as a radio DJ on ZiFM than as a musician; the reason being that after she was engaged at ZiFM she stopped recording music for nearly 10 years.

Musa, born on March 14, 1979, worked for ZiFM stereo as a producer/presenter from August 2012 up until January 2022.

She is the daughter of cartoonist Hassan Musa, who worked for local newspapers where he was the creator of early Zimbabwean cartoons such as Hoza, Potonjere and Mujiba.

Musa attended Alfred Beit Primary School before transferring to Avonlea Primary School for her primary education. She later went to Hatfield High School for her secondary education. As an ambitious young girl, she continued with her education on leaving Hatfield High, first at Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA) for her A’ Levels and then at the Harare Polytechnic where she studied for a Diploma in Graphic Designing.

She is a mother of one.

It was in 1999 that Musa made her singing debut while she was studying for her A’ Level. This is when she joined Willom Tight and Mateo Kaunda. Together they released songs such as Asambe Africa and Pamuhacha.

Musa has shared the stage with musicians such as the late South African great, Brenda Fassie, Zimbabwean musicians;  Fungai Malianga, Dorothy Masuka, Oliver Mtukudzi, Andy Brown and Busi Ncube among many others.

In 2002 after she felt that she had gained enough experience, Musa formed her own group and she called it The Other Four.

In November 2002, she released her debut album titled With Love. This was nominated for a Zimbabwe Music Award in the Best Jazz category.

After the death of Fred Allan, aka Sanchez, shortly after the release of  her second album, The Other Four split up.

Musa, with no musicians to back her up, decided to join Kelly Rusike’s Jazz Invitation in 2010.

In the same year she released her third album.  She then joined ZiFM in 2012 and it was not until 2020 that she came up with her newly released Vanonyepa .

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