Failure is not an option: Faheem Somanje

HARARE - The death of sungura great Daiton Somanje two years ago, thrust his son Faheem into the hot seat as the leader of the legendary Pengaudzoke that the Tsaona singer co-founded with his brother Josphat.

With his talented uncle, Josphat, being weighed down by ill-health, the onerous task of reviving the unique Pengaudzoke beat that spawned hits like Zvibate Pamhaka, Sei Kuonda, Mai Linda and Arindine, now lies squarely on Faheem’s fledgling shoulders.

Faheem told the Daily News on Sunday about his readiness to work with his uncle even though he had gone solo when his father passed on.

“What I want is the revival of Pengaudzoke. I know it is a challenging task but I am ready to take it head on.

“I am not worried about the reasons which led to my father and uncle going separate ways. I treat Josphat as my father and I will continually turn to him for advice and help.

“I have shared the stage with him (Josphat) on several occasions and I am glad because he is always ready to help me. However, at the moment we have no plans to merge our bands,” he said.

Apart from Josphat, Faheem has also been assisted by Alick Macheso.

“I first met Macheso when I was a child. He used to visit my father in Marondera that is why I gathered the confidence to implore him to assist me in reviving the Pengaudzoke legacy and he agreed.

“He took me on board and I toured the country with him as a supporting act.

“I will remain indebted to him for giving me the platform to connect with Pengaudzoke fans,” Faheem told the Daily News on Sunday.

Macheso featured on Faheem’s debut album titled Ndezvedzinza on the song Nhaka. The supportive sungura legend also performed at the album launch which was held in Marondera where Macheso bought several CDs of the album recorded at his Alema Studios in Chitungwiza.

Songs on the album released in March include Zai Regondo, Daka, Ndoda Kuroora, Allah Kumaunde and Linda.

“I have leant a lot from Macheso. He is a hard worker who devotes a lot of his time on rehearsals. He told me that no matter how talented one is, he needs to continually perfect the gift through practice.

“More importantly, Macheso always tells me that he regards his fans as his kings and paymasters.

“Regardless of the size of the crowd that pays to watch him play, Macheso will always give his all.

“I know if I manage to apply what I continue to learn from Macheso I will never go wrong in reviving the Pengaudzoke brand,” he said.

Faheem has lined up several collaborations as part of his strategy of putting the spotlight on the Pengaudzoke brand.

“I want to collaborate with babamunini Josphat and several other top artistes on my next album,” he said.

Though his father composed several hits, Faheem fears that remixing them will take away their enduring quality.

“I want to keep the hits in their original state. I believe the purpose of remixing a song is to give it a fresh life and the remixed version must surpass the original version in terms of everything.

“As a result I am only going to remix those songs that were not hits, hence I will strive to make them hits,” said Faheem.

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