Benhura lends helping hand

HARARE - Internationally-renowned stone sculptor Dominic Benhura’s upbringing as an orphan has opened his heart to helping his peers and other disadvantaged artists whom he has helped in building their artistic careers.

While over the years, he has engaged disadvantaged children at his Dominic Studios in Greendale, Harare and taught them how to sculpt, this time he has expanded his sponsorship and financed the recording of a full music album by his cousin and understudy, Terrence Benhura.

The youthful Tafara-based musician will tonight officially launch his eight-track gospel album titled Murombo Munhu in Harare at Piccobello Restaurant in Highlands.

The album launch will be presented by Mbira Centre and Dominic Studios.

Terrence spent the last 11 years working as a stone sculptor under Benhura who noticed he had a passion for music.

“When I realised that Terrence had a passion for music; Dominic Studios gave itself the task of recording and publishing his music.

“I have always had a passion for music myself and initially we wanted to form a band comprising stone sculptors based at Dominic Studios.

“We practised for fun and enjoyed ourselves until Terrence showed serious liking of the trade. We decided we had to help him and make him flourish in the direction that he so wishes to follow.”

At Dominic Studios they own a full kit of music instruments which the young Terrence is now proudly using.

Added Benhura: “We are looking at empowering artists from different genres. We also train the disabled and disadvantaged communities so they survive through art. Dominic Studios is there to empower youths and we are identifying which more areas we have to invest in.”

Benhura believes Terrence has what it takes to conquer the showbiz and entertainment industries.

“What he needs is our support and the support of other stakeholders and music promoters. He has the talent and what is only left now is to expose it to wider audiences. He has to be able to perform with the best.”

On the new album, Terrence provides the lead vocals for his band that also comprises Allan Manjoro (vocals and rhythm), Blessing Rwodzi (lead guitar), Onesai Kapatamoyo (backing vocals), Innocent Sakala (rhythm) and Simbarashe Karichoyo (keyboard, bass guitar).

Plug tracks on the album include Mukai, Ramangwana, Dai Tanamata, Samson, Murombo Munhu, Believe in God, Moyo Wako and Send Me Lord.

Terrence is not new to performing live music as he has over the years been doing exactly that — performing at weddings.

Through Passions Entertainment, he coordinates wedding events that include photography, video production and entertainment.

The singer said during the wedding season, usually from August to December, he is usually fully booked for performances.

“We do three to four wedding performances in a month during the wedding season. So it means we are always busy.” Terrence said it is at these wedding performances that they always gauged the strength of their new songs. “The weddings have been a yardstick to our songs’ prowess and already we know which ones they like.”

Terrence has also developed a passion to train young artists with his recent engagement being to train 11 disabled children how to sculpt.

“Through Dominic Studios and with the support of Benhura we managed to train 11 disabled children on the various aspects of stone sculpting. The 11 have held several exhibitions where they have sold their works.”

Terrence said the 11 disabled children managed to shoot for him a musical video for the song Chipo. “They surprised me and with the resources they raised at their exhibitions, shot and produced a beautiful music video for me.”

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