Zora star Zhakata rules

HARARE - When Zora music star Leonard Zhakata scooped the top Coca-Cola accolades in 2015 with songs Dhonza Makomborero and Dollar Boy from his album Zvangu Zvaita there were a lot of doubters but the diminutive singer has done it again by topping both the Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 and National FM charts for 2016 winning a cool $6 000 in the process.

Zhakata’s song Madam Boss which featured Progress Chipfumo and Suluman Chimbetu was the top song on both charts.

The affable singer’s Zvine Mwaka and Moyo Wekutenda were placed on second and third position respectively on the Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50, thanks to his fans who voted in big numbers.

Zhakata walked away with
$2 500 for claiming top position on the Coca-Cola music chart, $2 000 for earning second position and $1 500 for also getting position number three.

Fittingly, the 48-year-old artiste’s three hits which dominated the two charts are on his 2016 album titled Mutunga Dzese (which loosely translated means the one which overcomes everything in its wake.)

Madam Boss, Zvine Mwaka and Moyo Wekutenda garnered 104 046, 89 663 and 62 272 votes respectively in the annual musical competition in which Zimbabweans vote for the songs that inspired them throughout the year.

Zhakata thanked his legion of fans. “It is the people who judge music and if the majority feel my songs deserve the top positions, then let it be. I am humbled, l am speechless.”

He admitted that he had not anticipated such a massive victory. “I knew I had done what I thought was my best, but I did not expect three songs from the album to clinch prizes as has happened, given the competition in the industry.

“I respect all the musicians who managed to get their songs into the competition as there was a lot of good quality songs offered.”

He also thanked musicians Chimbetu and Chipfumo with whom he collaborated on the hit song Madam Boss who “without them, the song would not have been what it is.”

Zhakata said he will consult very closely with his fans in future projects as Zora music evolves.

“Artists should be innovative as their music evolves, but it is good to consider the interest of your loyal fans.”

Zhakata could not disclose his immediate plans but word has gone around that he is planning on an entirely gospel album soon, and is also working on songs for the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust album where he is the trust’s goodwill ambassador.

A close friend and supporter of Zora projects Cosy Rules who coordinated the HICC album launch for Mutungadzese said people have spoken.

“I have heard some quarters questioning Zhakata’s wins but the listeners have chosen the best. I knew from the onset that the album was hit-bound and it is not a surprise to me at all. This shows that the Zora star is still around and making inroads. He has been a star for years and I have confidence in his art and composition power.”

Cosy said this is a challenge to Zhakata. “The Zora fans are challenging him to produce a new album this year and he has to respond. Every year will be his year and listeners have fallen in love with his music as they have in the past years. Zhakata is not just a winner this past year, he has been a winner since the 1990s, do not forget that.”

An ardent Zora fan popularly known by the name Amai Leossa said: “The name of the album says it all — Mutungadzese. We do not doubt Zhakata, never. He did it in 2014 and when Mutungadzese was released in July in the just ended year we knew the outcome.”

Amai Leossa went on to congratulate all fans who voted in the competition.

A fan who preferred to be identified by his nickname, Chamu Wezora weighed in saying the fans had ensured victory for their icon because of their consistent voting.

“The outcome shows that there is strength in numbers. In this radio competition, if you vote for your preferred choice in numbers you harvest sweet victory. Consistency in the weekly Top 20 and winning with a huge margin week-in and week-out has paid back for us. The result shows Zhakata is indeed Mutungadzese in Zimbabwe’s music circles.”

Equally excited was Kuda Houstone Mazviwana who said the victory proves Zhakata’s dominance through his song-writing prowess. “I am very happy. It proves dominance and being a champion of constructive messages.”

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