Mambo Guramatunhu: A naughty wordsmith of note

The music from bows (zvipendani or zvitende in Shona) helped in rehabilitating warriors on their return from war.

FORMER head of the Zimbabwe Media Commission and media studies lecturer, Tafataona Mahoso has come up with a unique way of speaking his mind through a string bow musical instrument called Chitende.

He plays it with proficiency and one of the songs he played at one of his workshops was Maticha Kutsakara Ngenda, a song which warns teachers against abusing students.

Central to Mahoso’s teaching was that bows and arrows were weapons of war and hunting, but war and politically-motivated violence are retrogressive and should not be tolerated at any given time.

The music from bows (zvipendani or zvitende in Shona) helped in rehabilitating warriors on their return from war.

In the same vein spoken word artiste Ngonidzashe Paradza, affectionately known as Mambo Guramatunhu, has found his own way of creating captivating and catchy expressions which persuasively shift moods from tension to jovial ambiance as a master of ceremony, poet, author and musician.

He attributed his popularity to being naughty with words.

Mambo Guramatunhu took the lion’s share of public interest through retributive satiric poems like Chikwereti, Tanga Tingori Hwai Dzisina Mufudzi, Mainyomberei Masvingo, Minamato Miteuro Nemipiro and the Zvemitupo jam Session which he did at Monolio Studios in collaboration with mbira musician Mabhurasi.

The talented artiste believes that arts keeps people entertained with citizenship-building messages.

A university graduate and National Arts Merit Award 2023 nominee for the Outstanding Poet, Guramatunhu has bagged several awards and honours through his mature wordsmith proficiency.

“My latest album Zvombo is a collection of 10 poems, some fused with music (l call it poesic) the fusion of poetry and music. I realised the need to warn people against political violence and its effects, the importance of uniting and living in harmony,” he told NewsDay Life & Style.

“I also challenged political leaders to deliver once elected to office. Issues to do with corruption and the new pandemic — drug abuse  — are fully addressed in this poetry album.”

Mambo Guramatunhu said he was very passionate about the arts and was certain that through poetry he would change the world around him.

He has also published a book Kumberi Takamirigwa and a feature Chitubu Chenhetembo which was edited by Prosper Njeke.

Mambo Guramatunhu said he would not relent on preaching peace and unity, adding that he would not stop delivering messages against gender-based violence as well as politically-motivated violence.

Listening closely to his poems on social media channels, I learnt that the poems have no hard-hitting words, but carry strong descriptions of situations often deemed difficult.

In the poem Mainyomberei Masvingo, the average-height mbira player creates several words which are interestingly pronounced in Chikaranga, Shona dialect, spoken in Masvingo province.

On Masvingo town, which boasts the Great Zimbabwe Monuments, Mambo Guramatunhu asserted that it was symbolic of the creative capability of the Shona people of yesteryear which should be nurtured and transmitted to future generations.

Mambo Guramatunhu believes that Wezhara (of Hunger), Wezhira (who follows the path) and Wezheve (who listens attentively with wide-open ears) are some of the affectionate names which should be identified with the peace-loving people of Masvingo.

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