Macheso degree campaign gathers momentum

HARARE - The campaign to lobby the University of Zimbabwe to accord sungura kingpin Alick Macheso an honorary doctorate degree has gathered momentum.

The campaign has mobilised 20 000 endorsements through Facebook likes and Nash Paints director Tinashe Mutarisi, who is spearheading the campaign, told the Daily News that the engagement process with the higher learning institution will begin just after the Easter holidays.

“We have reached our target of 20 000 Facebook likes which we are going to use as the base of our appeal to the university,” Mutarisi said.

The campaign commenced early this week with Mutarisi posting the plea on Nash Paints’ Facebook page.

He said Macheso’s contribution to the music industry and society at large is unquestionable.

“Macheso is a musician par excellence and no one can dispute that. All of his albums are popular in Zimbabwe and abroad.

“Apart from this, I respect Macheso’s passion in humanitarian work, no wonder why a big organisation such as Red Cross engaged him as their humanitarian brand ambassador.

“He is very passionate in trying to improve other people’s lifestyle. I once attended a funeral of his close relative in rural areas and I can testify that all the mourners ended up showering Macheso for his big heart.”

Owing to his background, the singer usually identifies talent in less privileged people such as street kids.

Born on June 10, in 1968, Macheso told the Daily News in a previous interview that his music is a reflection of what he went through in life.

“I do not dream songs or use tsotso (black magic) to spruce up my career but I only sing reality. My music is a true reflection of what I have gone through in my life. Ndinorarama negitare.

“I grew up on a farm under the care of my mother. I was told that my father left her while she was three months pregnant only to resurface later when I was six years old and from there, he never came back until now,” he said.

Macheso said his personal background played a pivotal role in shaping his career.

“My mother wanted me to have a white colour job like teaching but judging with the situation on the ground then it was impossible as handina kuzopedzisa chikoro sevamwe vangu and this led me to move to Harare for greener pastures.

“I started professional music when I was just 15 and bar owners used to deny me access into the bars back then as I was under age and this led Nicholas Zakaria to intervene and negotiate on my behalf as I was the Khiama Boys bassist.

“Since I launched my solo career in 1997, I compose each song as like my first track and mainly these songs are inspired by personal background.”

Some of the songs that were directly inspired by his upbringing include Monalisa off the album Zvakanaka Zvakadaro and Baba off his latest album Tsoka Dzerwendo.

Macheso said he never thought he would be ranked among the finest artistes in the region when he launched his solo career in 1997.

“My music is not meant to thrill people, hence I never imagined myself regarded among the best musicians in the country; I take it as a platform to educate and communicate with my fans,” he said.

If awarded the degree, Macheso will join the list of other music gurus such as Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo.

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