Mutirowafanza's daughter opens up on music career

HARARE - Prime time viewing on ZBC TV in the 90s became a must for many largely because of hilarious comedies like Simon “Mutirowafanza” Shumba’s Bhachi Rangu.

He became popular for his deep wasu accent and humour which he flaunted on each episode on national television.

But according to rising gospel singer Evelyn Mhaga — the late Mutirowafanza’s eldest daughter — the hilarious comedian succumbed to diabetes in 2 000 a happy man knowing that he had succeeded in nurturing the gift his daughter had.

Mhaga, 43, released her first album in January 2000, a month before her father passed away.

While Mutirowafanza was known to many as a comedian, Mhaga told the Daily News on Sunday that her father was an equally good singer and guitarist.

“Though he was a comedian, my father, rather interestingly, encouraged my siblings and I to pursue music,” said Mhaga.

“People never got to know the musician that my dad was. He sang very well at church and at home.”

According to Mhaga, her decision to opt for gospel music was due to her Christian background and the fact that her father, Mutirowafanza, was a ZAOGA deacon.

“Not many people would believe it, but the truth of the matter is that he was a deacon at ZAOGA and a good one for that matter.”

Mhaga, who draws inspiration from South African artiste Rebecca Malope, said her desire to record the first album fell heavy on her like pregnancy due for delivery.

She described how, after failing to secure funds to pay the studio that had helped her record, she ended up giving up a hair dryer she had secured for the hair salon she was in the process of opening.

“My first album was in 2000 and it was titled Timuzive Jesu. The desire to record was just too much for me,” she said.

“I released the album in January and my dad died the following month. I remember that after I had finished recording I failed to secure funds to pay the producer and had to ask him if it was okay to give his wife a hair dryer as payment.”

In 2002 she recorded Vanunurei which spawned the hit Emmanuel which was one of the best videos on ZBC TV’s prime gospel show that year.

The song also earned her the platform to sing at Nguva Yakwana Gospel Concerts in 2003 and 2004.

“For that song I took lyrics from one of my late father’s songs and it became a hit. In 2008 I went on to record Makanaka Mwari before Bhuku Yemurairo, last year.”

Her music focuses on motivational messages with lyrics derived from Bible scriptures.

For example Bhuku Yemurairo was adopted from the Bible verse, Joshua 1 verse 8 which reads “Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night...”

Mhaga described her music career as a spiritual calling and way of glorifying God.

“If I sang for money I would have quit music long time ago. I remember one of my earlier albums selling just 500 cassettes and I got profit that was enough to buy one Bible,” she told the Daily News on Sunday.

“For me music should be able to comfort and bring direction in people’s lives. It should give a different perspective to life. I want to produce music that, if a person who intended to commit suicide listens to it, they completely change their mind.”

Mhaga has enjoyed 18 years of marriage to Stanford Mhaga and the couple is blessed with two children. She manages a secretarial services business.

“I start my day at 3:30 am and strive to give equal time to all the important things in my life. I adjusted the time because I discovered that if I did not become wise enough one aspect of my life would be shaken,” she said.

Comments (1)

I remember that song Emmanuel was very good. However, its nowhere to be found.

tp - 12 April 2015

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