Passion drives me: Tanga Wekwa Sando

HARARE - Township jazz maestro Tanga Wekwa Sando, 62, says his career is not driven by the desire to make money and win awards.

The Harare-born artiste, who has won several accolades over the past 45 years, told the Daily News on Sunday that his career has him given many other benefits that money cannot buy.

“I have never been in the music industry for money but for self-gratification. I cannot say music has not paid me for the past 45 years but self-gratification has driven me on.

“I have been motivated by the fact that people or fans appreciate my music and by the fact that my music has moved people one way or the other. That alone cannot be monetised. There is intrinsic value in it,” said the Buhera singer.

Sando added that his music career is anchored on creating top-class music and helping upcoming artistes.

“My wish now is to build an arts centre in Highfield (PaFio) which will empower youths and women in various arts sector . . . it is also my wish to set up digital studios at the facility,” said the veteran musician.

In his bid to achieve his aims, the Wake hit-maker, who was born Ernest Tanga Kambadzo Sando, built PaFio Outdoor and Entertainment Centre at Machipisa Shopping Centre in Highfield.

“Yes, this is part of my plans of helping out artists in the area I grew up in. I am glad that the one who is running a night club at the joint is furthering my dreams of promoting artistes,” Sando said.

Though he attained a degree in international economics from University of Indiana in the United States of America, Sando insisted in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday that his passion has always been in the arts.

“When I came back from the United States of America, I could have come along with gadgets such as photocopiers, fax machines and printers for re-sale in Zimbabwe but I only came with my head.

“During those days (1980s), people were buying houses in low density suburbs by just shipping these gadgets but I spend most of my time in foreign studios chasing my passion in arts,” he said.

The township music star, who has not released an album for close to a decade, hopes to end the drought before the end of the year. Sando has lined up an album titled Knock Knock which has three tracks that featured the late Sam Mtukudzi who passed on in 2010 following a tragic car accident that also claimed the life of his friend and sound engineer, Owen Chimhare.

“It is a 10-track album where reloaded Tanga knocks on the doors of his fans’ hearts. I featured the late Sam Mtukudzi on the tracks Ndiyeye (Nguye), Owakhe — a Ndebele and English version of the hit Wake as well on Mai Bhoyi Ndauya. The late Sam played alto-saxophone and it was before his death in 2010,” the 62-year-old artiste said.

He added that the forthcoming album was produced by Munyaradzi Viyali, who has worked with top artistes like Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.

Tanga Wekwa Sando’s long music career started in the 1970s as part of the Salvation Army Youth Band in which he played the tambourine, saxophone and trombone.

The Township Jazz veteran then went on to join a string of bands that included The Harare Mambos and Movement. His colourful career also presented him with opportunities to play alongside celebrated artistes such as Bothwell Nyamhondera, Jethro Shasha and Louis Mhlanga.

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