Of Zimbabwe's all time music composers

HARARE - Over the years Zimbabwean musicians have composed songs which instantly became “national anthem hits”, most of which address the day-to -day societal issues.

The Daily News on Sunday’s entertainment writer Vasco Chaya recently interviewed arts practitioners and artists to find out which musicians they thought were above the rest in terms of song composition.

Veteran singer Leonard Zhakata who has released more than 10 hit albums including Maruva Enyika (Mugove) regards Mtukudzi, Leonard Dembo and Munhumumwe as part of the cream when it comes to song composition.

“I was impressed and inspired by the way Dembo, Munhumumwe and Mtukudzi wrote songs, they remain my best song writers,” said Zhakata.

Mai (Olivia) Charamba, wife to the veteran gospel music Charles Charamba believes her husband remains the best song writer in Zimbabwe.

“I regard Baba Charamba as the best songwriter in the country considering that he writes songs for me and himself and interestingly all the songs have become instant hits once released,” said Mai Charamba.

Selmor Mtukudzi, the daughter to the megastar Mtukudzi and is married to Tendai the son of the local music legend Zex Manatsa, says her father is among the best song writers in Zimbabwe followed by the late Chiwoniso Maraire.

“My father is the best song writer in the country and I also fell in love with the way Chiwoniso did her things in terms of writing songs,” said Mtukudzi.

Prince Musarurwa, who wrote Pah Chihera’s songs on the album Runonzi Rudo and recently performed in Uganda regards Mtukudzi as the best song writer in the country.

“I admire the way Tuku writes his songs. His songs are short but concise and they carry a lot of message. I wish one day I will match his standards,” said Musarurwa.

Mutare-based gospel singer Blessing Shumba says Charles Charamba is his choice.

“Charamba is my most outstanding songwriter and I also appreciate the late Brian Sibalo.”

Gospel diva Fungisayi Zvakavapano-Mashavave, the Makomborero singer was not at liberty to disclose her best songwriter save to say she appreciates all the local artists.

“Zimbabwe is a rich country in terms of talent and I regard all the musicians outstanding in their different ways,” said Fungisayi.
Comic Marabi musician Kireni Zulu believes he has what it needs to be counted among the best songwriters in the country.

“I regard myself as the outstanding songwriter in the country. No one matches my standards.

Most musicians in the country lack the talent to write meaningful songs but rather they have a tendency of mixing slang, Shona and English which is not healthy to the industry,” said Zulu.

Biggie Chinoperekwei the Nama Music promoter of 2013 Biggie regards Leonard Zhakata as the best songwriter ever to emerge from Zimbabwe.

“Zhakata to me remains the best songwriter but I appreciate the talent exuded by late musicians like Marshal Munhumumwe and Paul Matavire,” said Chinoperekwei.

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