Mukundu dedicates album to wife

HARARE - Top producer Clive ‘‘Mono’’ Mukundu, 42, has dropped his seventh album titled Tunziyo for Jean (Songs for Jean), dedicated to his wife of 18 years.

Mukundu is a producer as well as a musician and his other albums are Anosimudza Marombe, Jesu Aneni, Poor and Famous, Super Ngezha, Zivai Zvekuchema and 40.

His latest offering is a nine-track album comprising love songs he wrote for his wife. It consists of Afro-Jazz, the guitar and mbira songs.

On the album he features OliveR ‘Tuku” Mtukudzi, Alexio Kawara, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Hope Masike, Renee and Asali.

In an interview with the Daily News Mukundu said he was inspired to compose by how they met and eventually got married.

“Jean was an orphan and was raised by a foster parent. When we met and fell in love our relationship received mixed reactions from different people with some saying Jean should look for a better boyfriend who could properly look after her since she was an orphan.

“Others thought it was a bad omen for me to marry an orphan and refused to offer us their blessings while others just minded their own business. When Jean’s father heard about the relationship, he banished her from seeing me. He even made her leave town, just to get her away from me,” he said.

The two lovebirds eventually eloped and they later got married and were blessed with a daughter whom they named Nyasha Tariro.

They later had a son whom they named Takakunda.

Songs on the album are Usazvishandure, Vakaseka, Mukadzi, Jean, Mambokadzi, Usacheme, For Better For Worse, Dai and Parasite.

On the song Jean Oliver Mtukudzi’s distinct voice can be heard and one is easily reminded of the song masters, own dedication to his wife through the song, Daisy he released years ago.

Mukundu realised his love for music at the tender age of nine, when he made himself a home-made guitar and learnt to play a few chords, despite the discouragement from his father.

“When I was 17 years old I met Last Saidi, a Chitungwiza- based bass player who taught me my first three chords on the standard guitar. I then took it from there, learning from other musicians on radio.

“I formed my own band in high school called the Sarungano Chanters. Financial constraints and much discouragement led to the band’s disbandment a year later,” he said.

Mukundu proceeded with his musical career — he joined the Chax Brothers, who played Chimurenga, reggae, sungura and soul music.

In this band he worked with the likes of Jackson Phiri and Admire Kasenga.

In 1990 he then co-founded the band, Chikoko recording an album titled Ruvengo in 1992.

During the period between 1994 and 2002 he worked with several other people including Ivy Kombo, Carol Mujokoro and many others.

“I decided to formalise my music side and enrolled with the Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM). I then learnt to play two kinds of mbira and marimba. I graduated with a national certificate in music and was awarded best guitar student."

“From 2002-2003 I taught guitar skills at ZCM, Prince Edward High School and Don Bosco Youth Training Centre and I also worked part-time as a producer,” he said.

The major highlight of his career was when he joined Tuku’s Black Spirits.

“After I joined Tuku I carried on being a session musician and I toured around the world with him and recorded a number of albums before leaving in February 2007. This was when Tuku decided to use traditional instruments in place of keyboards and guitars."

“In 2007 I opened Monolio Studio with equipment I bought during the time I worked for Tuku. To date I have produced and recorded many artistes from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.

He has worked with the Celebration Choir, Kudzai Sevenzo, Transit Crew, Mau Mwale (Zambia), Jane Zangi, Osborne (Zambia), Lufuno Dagada (South Africa), Mahendere Brothers, Shingisai Suluma and others.

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