HARARE - Lead guitarist Braveman Chizvino Mawanza (29), better known as Baba Harare, who has just quit Jah Prayzah’s Third Generation, says he will always cherish “the small role” he played to make the Uzumba-born artiste a top brand in Zimbabwe and beyond.
Baba Harare, who was accompanied by his manager Voyage Dambuza, formally quit Jah Prayzah’s band last Friday barely three months after the departure of dancer and vocalist Pamela “Gonyeti” Zulu from the same outfit.
“I joined Jah Prayzah when he was in the early stages of his career and am happy that I am leaving his band at the very top in Zimbabwe.
“Many people are finding it hard to understand why I am leaving an artiste who is doing so well but I think it is the right time for me to pursue a solo career. The time has come for me to express myself as an artiste,” said the lanky artiste who was born at Mashoko Hospital in Bikita District.
The talented guitarist chuckled as he remembered how he ended up in Jah Prayzah’s band.
“I met Jah Prayzah eight years ago when I was part of a Hatfield-based band called Sigma Boys. He didn’t have a musical kit then so he used to hire Sigma’s musical kit.
“One day while we were sharing the stage with him in Gokwe, his lead guitarist didn’t show up. Jah Prayzah asked Sigma’s lead guitarist Shacky “Madzibaba Shekede” to step in but he suggested that I do it instead even though I was a bassist then. That was the beginning of a great relationship that has given birth to five albums. I am indebted to Jah Prayzah for giving me a platform to showcase my talent,” said Baba Harare.
The ambitious artiste believes his eight-year stint with Jah Prayzah and the two years he spent with Sigma Boys will provide a solid foundation for his solo career.
“Maybe I should call my music Baba Harare Music. It is a fusion of jiti and reggae. I am not sure yet how many tracks the album will have for now but I have more than 10 tracks.
“The producers for the project include Tapiwa “Maselo” Jera and Lazzie T. We hope to do a track with Oskid as well. I am happy that I will feature my role models Progress Chipfumo and Alick Macheso. Chipfumo has already done his part while Macheso was waiting for me to properly end my relationship with Jah Prayzah first,” added Baba Harare.
According to his manager, Dambuza, who is also known as Bugs Bangwela, Baba Harare’s maiden album will be launched on January 26.
“The album will be launched at Jazz 24/7. Since Braveman is Baba Harare we thought it appropriate for Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to be the guest of honour. Interestingly, January 26 is Manyenyeni’s birthday. We hope he will officiate at the album launch,” said Dambuza.