Shuga Shuga hits sour note

HARARE - Fast-fading sungura artiste Taruvinga Manjokoto popularly known as Shuga Shuga doubts whether he has talent in music or he is wasting time by chasing the wrong career.

Shuga Shuga opened up to the Daily News last week that since he began his musical journey in early 2000 there is still nothing to show for it.

“Music is adding more problems to my life, instead of the opposite.

“I know my fame is waning, but I do not know where exactly I am losing it. This question really eats me up daily to the extent that I named my latest album, Munoda Kuti Ndiite Sei?

“At times, I wonder if my talent is God-given or otherwise I do not have a music talent.

“If my talent was from God, I do not think I would be struggling in making ends meet by now,” said the Kutaura Taura singer.

Shuga Shuga blamed his waning fame on lack of promotion in the local music industry.

“Wherever I go people love my music, but these promoters do not want to promote me — so what shall I do?
“At one point, I wanted to throw in the towel, but my fans kept me going,” he said.

He said it is painful to note that most people in the country and outside love his music, but they are shy to be associated with the dominating genre — sungura.

“Fans lack guts to openly buy our local music because they want to associate themselves with Western music, but basically they love sungura music.

“Since I started my music career, I cannot count even one thing I bought through music. Even the people I play with are struggling so I now do not know what to do.

“To be honest the biggest asset I bought is a bicycle which I acquired during my days as a shop assistant — aah magitare haabhadhare,” he said.

He added that his music is way better than some that is played on radio.

“To be honest when I listen to the radio at times I shake my head. How are those people getting air play when my music is not receiving the same popularity?

“I really don’t understand why I am failing to get a breakthrough,” he said.

The Julianna singer lives in Budiriro with his two wives and seven children.

He has six albums under his name; Zviri Mukati, Kutaura Taura, Chamungarwira, Kuchema Ngekunakirwa, Chimwe Nechimwe and Munoda Kuti Ndiite Sei?

He came into the limelight with his second album Kutaura Taura.

The musician was given a residential stand by the flamboyant businessperson and music promoter Philip Chiyangwa as a reward for his chart-topping album Chimwe Nechimwe.

“I appreciate Chiyangwa’s efforts, but currently I do not have money to develop the stand,” he said.

Some music critics have pinned Shuga Shuga’s ill fate on the time he became popular.

“Shuga Shuga became popular during the financial crisis. It is unfortunate that the people that had money then were hustlers and they were the ones supporting him.

“Now that the economy is getting back on track it is becoming a little difficult for him to maintain his fan base,” they say.

He urged his fans to come out and support him “Mashamwari aShuga budai pachena (I want my fans to come out and support me, they must not be shy).

“They must not act like they are not proud of me.

“Right now as I was coming here they were calling and mobbing me. So I then ask myself that if I have so many fans, why am I struggling?” he said.

Shuga Shuga made headlines in the media after he was evicted in Harare’s Budiriro suburb after he failed to pay rent for a couple of months.

Recently Marondera-based sungura musician Josphat Somanje was quoted by a local daily newspaper saying the music industry is not paying.

Somanje was reported to be surviving through the money he earned from his radio repairing business. - Sharon Muguwu and Vasco Chaya

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