Majuice mends his ways

HARARE - Selemani “Majuice” Mpochi, sungura star Alick Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo’s lead dancer, claims his “wild days are over.”

Since he joined Macheso almost a decade ago, the talented Majuice has routinely got caught up in scandals largely due to womanising and general indiscipline.

The 30-year-old, who was born in Rugare, Harare, conceded in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday that his “behaviour when he first joined Orchestra Mberikwazvo was dreadful.”

“Fame needs to be handled with caution. This is my eighth year at Orchestra Mberikawazvo but I can say during the first three years I led a reckless life full of womanising and endless clubbing.

“When I joined Macheso I suddenly became famous and I couldn’t handle the fame. Women threw themselves at me and I never considered the fact that fame should come with responsibility,” said Majuice, who became Macheso’s lead dancer when Franco “Slomo” Dhaka quit joining Suluman Chimbetu four years ago.

The colourful dancer credits Macheso for making him mend his ways.

“Macheso who gave me the nickname Majuice took me aside a few years back and told me that the life I was leading would destroy me. He said “unomwiwa juice yese ikapera” and I listened to him.

“I had to listen to him because the situation was getting out of hand. Then, I was always in newspapers for the wrong reasons and sadly, I was not a good role model for the youngsters,” he said.

The former Kambuzuma High School student insists that he has worked hard to end his philandering ways.

“I have learnt to respect my wife and as a result I am now enjoying my marriage of seven years. Away from the stage, I now prefer spending time running a personal business and rehearsing for concerts,” Majuice said.

The popular dancer has invested in three commuter omnibuses that operate in Harare.

“It’s a joint venture. I am running the commuter omnibuses with a friend. It’s no longer as lucrative as it used to be due to corruption on the roads. But we are managing to earn a living from it,” he said.

But how did Majuice end up at Orchestra Mberikwazvo?

“I ventured into dancing at a tender age while I was still at Rugare Primary School. I worked with a number of bands such as Shumba Stars, Famous 7 led by George Tafirenyika of the hit Chimbekeya, Leonard Zhakata’s Zimbabwe All Stars, Sam Mtukudzi, Peter Tangwena and another group co-founded by the late Katarina (real name Elizabeth Taderera) and one Kanjanda,” he recounted, adding that he also doubled up as a commuter omnibus conductor before he joined Macheso.

Majuice said he met the sungura kingpin at Pakare Paye Arts Centre where he used to frequent because of his work with the late Sam Mtukudzi.

“I met Macheso for the first time at Pakare Paye Arts Centre when he came for a concert. I joined him on stage and he was impressed by my dancing skills,” he said.

So impressed was Macheso that he immediately invited Majuice to join the Orchestra Mberikwazvo dancing team.

“When I joined him it was a dream come true for me. I have been with Macheso for close to a decade and I do not have plans to move to other musical groups or even to start a solo project. I am still learning a lot from Macheso and I emulate his work ethic,” he said.

Though working for Macheso is not always a walk in the park, Majuice enjoys his job all the same despite the hectic schedule.

“I really enjoy my job even though at times we go for four consecutive days touring. Despite the hectic programme, I have never used drugs.

“Interestingly, I only started drinking alcohol this year just for pleasure. On stage I only take water and I do not smoke,” he said.

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