I will never be Tongai - Young Igwe

HARARE - Young “Igwe” Peter Moyo says he will never be a clone of his father and music superstar, Tongai who passed away on October 15 three years ago.

The young musician, who will celebrate his 25th birthday in bashes set for today and tomorrow, told the Daily News that it has never been his wish to be exactaly like the late sungura legend.

“I know a lot of people try to compare me with my late father but if the truth be told, I am not him and I have to live my own life,” said the Kwekwe-born musician.

“My late father had a special musical talent that is far ahead of mine. My father also had more experience than me.”

Peter and his Utakataka band will perform at the Airport Lounge tonight before the young artiste joins his friends and fans for a birthday bash to be held in his honour at the Private Lounge tomorrow.

“The weekend bashes are a celebration of my entry into music since 2011. I am celebrating three years as a fully-fledged musician,” said the young sungura singer.

“Tomorrow at Private Lounge and as part of our celebrations we will be charging half our normal gate fees so that all our fans can have a chance to be with us.”

The youthful musician thanked all the people who helped him during the formative stages of his music career.

“When I began my music career it was a very difficult time as I was a nobody with no songs of my own, instruments or a backing band,” he said.

“But I am happy that my father had put in place all the necessary things I needed to kick-start an artistic career. I inherited a lot from my father and am grateful for that. But I am now my own man now and I have to live my own life through hard work.

“I have to thank music promoters who embraced me when I started because without their faith in me, I could not have gone anywhere. They gave me advice and tips on how to succeed in the local music industry.

“It is not smooth sailing in the music industry, but one has to listen to those with experience and learn from them. I am still learning and I am lucky because I have people around me who are always guiding me.”

Peter expressed his gratitude to music promoters for always urging him not to repeat his late father’s mistakes.

“They tell me where my father used to get it wrong and that I should be wary of the same pitfalls. They knew my father’s weakness and together with them we trying very hard to achieve something better and bigger.”

But the Mushonga Mukuru singer attributed most of his success to his fans.

“When my father passed on his fans supported me and strengthened my resolve to fight for my space. In the process, I have also cultivated my own fans and all together the Utakataka fan base has spread throughout the country and beyond,” he said.

“Our fan base is so wide and I cannot single out any particular town or city that supports us most. We have fans scattered all over in towns, rural areas, growth points, farms and mines.”

“The fans communicate with me through various platforms that include Facebook and WhatsApp. They point out areas that I should work on, be they on vocals, stage act, dressing and all. I listen to them because they are the ones who make me.”

Though Peter insisted that his three-year musical journey has many achievements that should be celebrated, he, however, conceded that all has not been rosy.

“So far four members of the original band have left the group, but we managed to replace them. Two of them have actually come back including Spencer and we are still pushing for the return of Shiga Shiga.”

“There are some members who left and tried their luck in South Africa, but I understand only one is left there while the rest have returned home. The problem is they now want to return back to the band, but there are no vacancies anymore.”

The Kwekwe-based musician also admitted that managing the 18-member Utakataka Express was not a bed of roses.

“The band is expensive to run. Unfortunately, band members take time to come to appreciate the budget constraints that can befall operations.

“You need to pay the band, all the 18 band members. You need to feed them when you tour and there is the issue of accommodation as well as transport costs. All the aforementioned aspects have to fit in the budget.”

Peter, who revealed that he will be getting married soon, said that women constitute the bulk of the Utakataka fan base.

“Because our fan base is dominated by women, to celebrate my birthday on today I will hold a ‘Miss Utakataka’ beauty pageant that will choose three girls to carry winners,” he said.

“Remember My father was very popular with the fairer sex that is why he composed the song Sisi Toita Basa.

“That is why we are introducing a beauty pageant to search for our own brand ambassadors. The winners will among other prizes receive three tickets each for every of our concerts for one year.”

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