Of one-hit wonders

BULWAYO - When the inimitable Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo breathed his last from his bed at St Anne’s hospital in the capital over a year ago, it was indeed a touching departure for the suave sungura giant who had evolved from being a Leonard Dembo mimic into an enchanting musician.

As his body was being ferried from Harare to Kwekwe a place he had called home for the better part of his career, hordes of fans escorted the hearse in toyi toyi style, chanting slogans popularised by the late Sungura kingpin.

Of note is how the natty-dresser Dhewa managed to make a name for himself and left an indelible mark in a cut-throat music industry.

His consistency went beyond churning out one album after another. His beautiful lyrical and instrumental arrangements albums made him a darling of music fans across the region.

The illustrious story of Dhewa outlives his generation, but the same cannot be said of most modern-day musicians.

Most of them are one-hit wonders who easily fizzle out of style after one hit due to a variety of factors.
The list of musicians whose debut albums made waves, topped the local charts and even went on to become national anthems on the national airwaves is endless.

But as fate would have it, like dew at the break of day they vanished. Just like that some potential careers ‘jammed’ on the way, literally the beginning of their end.

Many of those who listened to Idya Banana by Sungura musician Joseph Garakara upon its release a few years ago were convinced that his powerful and promising voice would rule the roost for decades to come. How wrong they were!

There are other equally beautiful voices that at one point became popular on our national airwaves which have since become hazy figments of history.

Gospel prodigy Diva Mafunga, Mitchell Jambo, Gift Amuli, and the gospel duo of Mai naBaba Patayi, make the list of musicians whose music could not stand the test of time.

Many reasons may emerge as to why the careers of these one-hit wonders somehow plummeted when fans expected them to take their act to another level.

Though flamboyant, the thousands who thronged Dhewa’s Sosombe Village in Zhombe to bid farewell to the late great must have left any serious musician green with envy. The big send-off was a proof to Dhewa stature as a symbol of consistency, creativity and one who strived for the best.

While others fall by the wayside, we have living examples in Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Alick Macheso and Olivier and Charles among others who have stood the test of time to become enduring role models.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.