The year 2012 in retrospect

HARARE - The year 2012 started on a sad note for the arts industry as a number of talented artists passed on during the first quarter of the year.

The arts industry was dealt a severe blow in March as it lost one of the few talented guitarists, song writer and vocalist Andy “Muzukuru” Brown.

Brown succumbed to pneumonia leaving a void difficult to fill.

A month later, the industry was paralysed again when it lost veteran actor Walter Mparutsa after a long battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer).

As if this was not enough, in September, another talented actor, Sebastian Maramba died after a short illness.

The death of Brown saw his talented daughter, Ammara Brown taking over from where he left — musically.
Brown’s death also exposed family disunity and squabbles as Ammara and Brown’s widow made headlines in the newspapers for the wrong reasons.

From the day Brown passed away, the two are always on each others’ throat, trading accusations.

The year was characterised by controversy in the same industry.

In the first quarter of the year, the industry experienced “free will” movement of band members from one band to the other which left tongues wagging.

The movement of band members sparked beef among well-celebrated musicians in the country like Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu and Tryson Chimbetu.

This was not healthy to the industry but later they publicly claimed to have forgiven each other.

Apart from sad news the year brought, many interesting events also took place.

Early this year, Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) came into life and the internationally-acclaimed event did not only entertain people but also educated them.

Through Hifa, Zimbabweans were afforded a chance to witness internationally-acclaimed artistes such as Ishmael Lo of Senegal performing.

Other editions of festivals which thrilled audiences include the Winter Jazz Festival and the Ladies in Jazz organised by Josh Hozheri of Jazz 105.

Mid last year, Rockford “Roki” Josphats and Maneta Mazanhi were talk of the nation after they featured in Big Brother Africa Star Game and were disqualified after they contravened the violence rule.

Since January, foreign musicians visited the country and these include Jamaican international artistes such as Mavado, Agent Sasco and Capleton, South Africans Zahara, Freddy Gwala, Nigerian twin brothers Peter and Paul Okonye jointly referred to as P-Square, Flavour and Botswana diva, Slizer.

Last year in September, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s fans were treated to a fabulous performance when the superstar celebrated his 60th birthday.

Tuku celebrated the birthday in style at the Andy Miller Hall in the capital.
The event drew more than 10 000 revellers and a number of both local and foreign musicians shared the stage with him.

Tuku dedicated the year 2012 to his fans.

He put his status and pride aside, retracing his footsteps by performing in the ghetto joints which made him popular.

This saw him performing in areas such as Budiriro, Chitungwiza and Glen Norah among other places.

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