Harare remembers inimitable Dhewa

HARARE - It would have been very strange had Harare failed to remember the man who mesmerised revellers with his fashionable attire and music — Tongai Moyo.

Yet, for all the energy-sapping shows he held in the capital and sell-out crowds at the different venues, still in the main city, Tongai Moyo, had appeared, at least on the word of his son, Peter, a “forgotten” man.

Peter Moyo had spiritedly held his ground, barring promoters in the capital from holding the memorial shows, in remembrance of his father’s works.

And only one show, fittingly held in Kwekwe on October 14, paid tribute to the man who rose from the shadow of the late Leonard Dembo to become one of the most followed musicians.

But, in a change of heart, perhaps because of the promoter involved in the Harare memorial gig, Peter has paved way for the family show which will be held in the Harare Gardens on Sunday.

“We have agreed to stage another memorial show in Harare,” Peter confirmed.

The Harare Gardens Show is now being organised by Biggie Chinoperekwei of City Sports Bar.

City Sports Bar is Peter’s “home” ground; he was the last musician to perform at this joint last year and he became the first artiste to perform there again this year.

“City Sports Bar is the home of Moyos. We were the first to give Peter the floor to perform while Tongai was still alive.

“Peter was supposed to perform at the venue the very day Tongai passed away and for this reason Peter is our child,” said Chinoperekwei in a previous interview with the Daily News.

For this reason, Peter has little power to stop the show.

Speaking to the Daily News, Chinoperekwei said all is set for the show.

“We are hosting a bigger Tongai Moyo memorial show in the Harare Gardens on Sunday.

“We found it worthy to host the show in Harare since most of Utakataka fans are found in Harare,” said Chinoperekwei.

Unlike the Kwekwe show which only pitted Alick Macheso, Progress Chipfumo and Peter Moyo, a number of musicians are going to share stage on Sunday.

They include First Farai, Daiton Somanje, Jah Prayzah, Tryson Chimbetu, Leonard Zhakata The Charambas — Charles and Olivia as well as David Machowa aka Apama.

The Tongai Moyo memorial show is a family show, it will start at 1100 hours.

Most of Tongai Moyo’s fans are women, for this reason, show organisers find it worth to afford them an opportunity to attend his memorial show during the day.

Moyo also known as Dhewa died on October 15 last year after battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a type of cancer which affects the blood cells.

Peter, 23, stunned the entertainment arena when he took over as the new Utakataka boss and continued with his father’s music legacy.

When Peter took over as the leader of Utakataka Express, he virtually inherited everything — ranging from debts left by Tongai, to taking care of the family and property.

In a previous interview with our sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday — Peter said he was struggling to support the big family which his father was supporting before his death.

He said he was struggling to settle close to $20 000 debts left by his father.

But he has since gotten into the groove and is now commanding big crowds which at first were attracted to the band but have since found comfort in the young musician mimicking his late father.

Tongai started his musical journey in 1988 in Kwekwe before joining Shirichena Jazz band as a session musician.

He later formed Utakataka Express.

But he met a lot of criticism from the society, labelling him Dembo’s copycat but he managed to soldier on until he created his own musical beat.

To neutrals, Moyo was a welcome relief; he reminded them of the inimitable Dembo whilst at the same time, announced his own beat which was laced with love and social lyrics.

He might not have been the social evangelist of Thomas Mapfumo’s calibre, but whenever he released an album — it often found its way to women’s hearts — a large constituency of his sungura music.

Even in death, he has many fans who continue to give testimony to his wonderful music, performed in typical fashion by well-dressed band members. - Vasco Chaya

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