Zim artistes: The curse of temporary stardom


HARARE - Zimbabwe has shown that it is easy for one to wake up popular and classified as celebrities yet they will be flukes.

The arts sector has witnessed the emergence of such fly-by-night names that come and grab the limelight from real and established artistes in the name of competition.

A number of musicians have come with popular songs dominating the music scene but the popularity remains — like the sweetness of chewing gum — transitory.

Back in the day, there was Callisto Nyamhute of the Special Meat fame who just emerged but suddenly varnished into thin air when people were anticipating more fireworks from him.

Remember Jusa Mupostori of the Zvinhu Zvacho song, Jacob Moyana of the controversial Munotidako song and Joseph Garakara of the Idya Banana fame.

A number of urban grooves artistes fall into this category. Coming with one song and showing potential of being big but do not go far. Some managed to rebrand and pursued other genres but others have literally taken themselves into the music cemetery.

Gospel musicians such as Dona Chibaya among others also come to mind. 

They were regarded by some as stars in the making with their songs dominating showbiz but fizzled into oblivion, leaving many asking where they had gone to.

The answer is simple; they have disappeared and are buried in the arts cemetery.

Comedy, as a branch of the arts, has also had a fair share of single-day wonders.

Remember Richard “Uncle Richie” Matimba of the Zvirikumbofamba sei fame, Baba Tencen of the Kuripwa Kugara fame and Lameck Makwiramiti of the 48 hours fame, best-known for outbursts at a funeral.

Zimbabweans celebrated them but it later turned out that they were just fly-by-night entertainers with no real substance.

Baba Tencen was viewed by many as Zimbabwe’s equivalent of popular Ugandan comedienne Annie Kansiime following a number of skits on social media while in South Africa, popularising the Ungandii line. The line became the talk of the town and was unleashed onto the big stage during Kansiime’s visit to Harare.

Baba Tencen, however, flopped with a clumsy performance that saw him pouring a soft drink onto himself. This marked cracks in his supposed blossoming career. His works have never been the same ever since and is now next to oblivion.

Uncle Richie had the town bubbling with his “Zviri kumbofamba sei” line but that has since gone away with the wind.

Makwiramiti was even engaged by shoe traders following his “48-hour” threat and reference to tan boot in his outburst.

Dancers Association of Zimbabwe president Hapaguti “Hapaz” Mapimhidze says a number of dancers emerged but could not stand the heat and vanished.

“This trend is also common in the dance industry. The arts industry in general has seen these fly-by-nights who come for a short stint and disappear.

“At times, it is good competition and makes real artists up their game,” he said.

Comments (1)

I really appreciate your write ups about me, because it is free publicity. What you wish to happen, won't happen. But my Facebook views say the opposite of what you wrote there. Problem with Zimbabwean entertainment journalists is that you think you control the lifespan of an artist or entertainer. If you want viewership stats, I will send you. Your article had no substance. Problem kuZimbabwe when someone is famous, you mistake them for a celebrity. Handizi celebrity, I just happen to be famous for my skits. It changed my life forever even! Uchanyora kuzvika waneta, I will still be here.

Baba Tencen - 22 November 2018

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