Macheso mentors artistes

By Vasco Chaya, Entertainment Writer
Like Tryson Chimbetu, Shemu Mashonganyika aka Chibage of the Sounds of the Muddy Face is grateful for tremendous support his band received from Sungura Ace, Alick Macheso.

Sounds of the Muddy Face toured the country performing as opening act to Macheso for six months, a move that saw them performing before a sea of Zorai butter fans at some point.

“When we resumed shows just after the departure of Cephas Mashakada, our band leader, fans doubted our musical prowess and this led to a decline of our support base.

“Our shows were marked by few people but we thank the Orchestra Mberikwazvo band for our re-introduction,” he said.

Macheso exposed the band to large crowds and the band took the opportunity to showcase its prowess to the lost and doubting fans.

“Now we are moving alone and the response we are receiving is overwhelming,” he said.

Chibage told the Daily News that the band has learnt a lot from Orchestra Mberikwazvo during their six- month marriage.

“What I admired most from Macheso’s band is its management.

“We learnt to take music as a profession not just for pleasure. I respect the way he treats his band members. He has a forgiving heart, he stunned the entire entertainment fraternity when he accepted back those guys who had deserted him for Suluman,” he said.

Three band members from Macheso’s band Elton Muropa together with Noel Nyazanda and Francis “Franco Slomo” Dhaka left the camp in January to join the Orchestra Dendera Kings led by Sulumani Chimbetu.

However two instrumentalists mastered the guts and made their way back to Macheso.

Chibage said he was moved by the way Macheso handled the issue and his conduct to his fans.

Sounds of the Muddy Face managed to release and market the album Shungu Dzangu during their half-a-year marriage to Macheso.

Half of the songs on the six track-album were composed by the late musician while his wife Eunice Mashakada composed the other half.

Songs composed by the late Mashakada are Edina, Mira paNzvimbo and Upenyu Hwangu while Job, Shungu Dzangu and Fambai Naro Vhangeri were written by Eunice.

The band hogged the limelight for recording popular church hymns including Basa Ndasiya Ndapedza, Mharidzo, Zvapupu, and Job among others.

William Tsandukwa the Orchestra Mberikwazvo band manager told the Daily News that the band is now touring the country with Chipfumo.

“We had weaned the Sounds of the Muddy Face band for us to “breast-feed” Chipfumo.

“Chipfumo requested assistance since he is not feeling well so he will perform as an opening act to Macheso, the way Tryson and the Muddy Face used to do,” said Tsandukwa.

Tsandukwa said there are a number of struggling bands that are approaching his outfit for assistance.  He said Ochestra Mberikwazvo is helping one band at a time.

“We started with Tryson Chimbetu who used the opportunity to feature Macheso on his latest album Nguva YaChimbetu. We then engaged the Sounds of the Muddy Face and now we are popularising Chipfumo provided anobatsirika,” he said.

Chipfumo survived death through the skin of his teeth after contracting tuberculosis (TB) and this affected him musically.

Now he is back on course and Macheso’s mentoring gesture will benefit him and his band.

Chipfumo has a number of albums to his name including Let them Know, Ndinovatenda Nei, Tsiurika, Usatamba Nemoto and his debut Progress Report among others.

Chipfumo is well-known for his meaningful lyrics and his association with Machseo is set to prop him up.

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