Chipfumo's progress report

HARARE - Several years ago, music star Jah Prayzah singled out Afro-fusion artiste Progress Chipfumo as the artiste he looked up to the most.

“I fell in love with the way Progress crafted his lyrics and even his musical style. It was my wish to achieve what he had achieved in the music industry. When I finally got the chance to collaborate with him it was indeed a dream come true,” Jah Prayzah told our sister paper the Daily News then.

Jah Prayzah, who collaborated with Chipfumo on the track Yambuka Rukova, is just one of many admirers of Chipfumo’s musical acumen. This list also includes Leonard Zhakata who featured Chipfumo on his blockbuster hit Madam Boss which topped both the annual Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 and the National FM Top 50.

Just recently Baba Harare-the ex-Jah Prayzah guitarist who recently went solo- featured Chipfumo on the track Zindakupa.

Despite his undoubted talent, Chipfumo has surprisingly not hit the dizzy heights. In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, the talented musician conceded that his music career has not blossomed as well as many expected.

“I have to admit that my profile and popularity is still very low. Very few people know my music and this scenario is not by choice.

“It is my wish to hear my music being played everywhere and becoming competitive on the market but the honest truth is that I do not understand how best to achieve that. I am really doing my best,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

Chipfumo also agrees that his music and brand have not been well-marketed.

“Very few people know my music mainly because our marketing skills are not up there. I stand to be guided when it comes to the issue of music promotion because on my own I am nothing,” said the Sounds of the Motherland leader.

Despite conceding that his brand is not being marketed properly, Chipfumo is not keen to engage a manager.

“It is unfortunate that we do not have many professional band managers in Zimbabwe, we only have ‘runners’ who are motivated by the love of money.

“I do not subscribe to the notion of hiring managers as the majority of them are ignorant about what it means to manage a band.

“I believe that my humility and professionalism will in the end take me to new heights. The good lord will add blessings to my life,” he said.

This poor marketing has taken a toll on his albums which include Let Them Know, Ndinovatenda Nei, Tsiurika,Usatamba Nemoto and his debut album Progress Report. Though these albums are very good, they have not been well-marketed among music fans.

But how does it feel to be dwarfed by many artistes who were inspired by his musical craft?

“I am very happy for people like Jah Prayzah who is really doing well. It is not in my nature to be jealousy.  Remember I grew up in an orphanage and because of that I am not a materialistic person. I am always happy whenever one person I know makes it in life.

“For me music is all about conveying messages to diverse communities and it is never about competition. That is why I am always ready to work with many musicians who approach me for collaborations,” said Chipfumo.

Like sungura ace Alick Macheso, Chipfumo enjoys interacting with the vulnerable in society including children living on the streets.

“I feel for them because I grew up in an orphanage. I was once in their situation. I know how it feels to live a life of lack. I encourage other people to come out of their way to assist the less fortunate in society.

“I will never detach myself from ordinary people. Whenever I can I interact with the less fortunate in our society,” said the Ex-Hohodza member who grew up at Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Highfield, Harare.

Chipfumo has maintained a relationship with the orphanage which raised him.

“I usually spare Sundays to perform at the centre and if resources permit, I usually donate something for the children. I usually do this in privacy because I never do this for the purpose of generating publicity and attracting media coverage,” he said. 

Comments (2)

Progress Chipfumo i like your music. I really enjoyed reading this article. Word of advise, in this generation we are living you need a Band Manager who will interact with the promoters. He will strike deals and market the band all over. Its all about numbers at the end of it all. Doing charity works thats the way to go, but try to do it publicly so that well wishers will join you (Its not that u r trying to show off NO! You will be luring your music admirers to join you in this noble gesture. Once more again please employ a Band Manager ASAP. Your music is even better than that of other musicians that i can not mention but because of marketing they are doing well in this music business fratenity. Wish you the be Chipfumo.

Zim-Resident - 8 March 2017

Progress, I fell in love with your music long ago, from your days with Hohodza but I didnt know your upbringing. I am even more inspired! May the Lord take your career to a higher level so you can do more for the Orphanage which saw you grow up. Thank you Daily News

Newton - 8 March 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.