Let the countdown begin. It’s six days before sungura kingpin Alick Macheso releases his much-awaited album at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.
Or should we say the album will be released at his homeground?
For Macheso has a permanent attachment to Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex, and apart from hailing from the neighbourhood, he has won many musical battles at this place.
Already, Macheso’s camp has started the media campaign from advertisements, social media – celebrity endorsements to having an executive dinner, to promote the album.
The album already has a name − “Tinosvitswa Nashe” which means “God will guide us”.
By the way, this is Macheso’s 12th album.
Biblically, Jesus had 12 disciples, but one of them ‘snitched’ on him and sold him out.
But Macheso’s fans have stuck with him for all his 11 albums.
We await to find out if the 12th, that is coming out next week, will not betray his musical journey.
The analogy also befits Macheso on the basis that for all his 11 albums, he speaks about God on some songs and is deeply spiritual.
In spite of his perceived “nyau” background rooted in the farms of Shamva, Macheso makes emphasis on praising God based on Christian principles in at least one song on all his albums.
Albums like “Ndezvashe”, “Simbaradzo”, “Dzinosvitsa Kure” and “Kwatabva Mitunhu”, easily come to mind as they have Christian connotations.
Definitely, Macheso is a legend of our times, having gained his wings under the tutelage of Dzivarasekwa-based Shepherd Chinyani and the legendary Nicholas Zakaria.
The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle finds it necessary to look at Macheso’s musical journey that has taken him thus far.
It is also appropriate to get into his house, “sit on the table, check the fashion sense, the marital affairs and obvious the discography”.
As we wait for the 12th album to be in our hands for a review, it is all systems go as we prepare to attend the much publicized launch and dinner.
While misfortune, betrayal and resentment marked Macheso’s path in his childhood, faith, hard work and success now mark his new life.
After conquering the world and become his own man, marital woes nearly tainted his otherwise good image.
With the haters celebrating his near downfall after being involved with different women, Macheso quickly realised his wayward ways and made amends. Now he can afford a sigh of relief, and despite the drama-filled script, his fans stood with him.
Come June 10, that is Friday next week, Macheso will not only be launching his 12th baby, but also celebrating the 24 years he has been at the helm of Orchestra Mberikwazvo.
It will not only be a celebration of life, but triple joy – the 12th album, the 54th birthday and the 24 years after leaving Khiama Boys and standing on his own.
Macheso now boasts of a solid empire built on a strong musical foundation.
With his brand new album certainly coming, it now means he has been releasing an album after every two years in the last 24 years.
As Macheso returns to his fortress, the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex, next Friday with majesty, fun will be guaranteed.
A star-studded line-up comprising sungura godfather Zakaria, Leonard Zhakata, Selmor Mtukudzi, Sulumani Chimbetu and Baba Harare will provided cover when Macheso celebrates his treble.
“It’s all system go as we mark yet another milestone next Friday at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex,” Orchestra Mberikwazvo publicist Tich Makahamadze said.
“Macheso’s journey is well documented and we all know what he went through, but this time around we are celebrating his legacy.
“All the artistes on the poster will be available and they have shown us how they value our brand. We will not disappoint our fans, but we feel indebted to them for their support.
Makahamadze said they owed it to God who has managed to project Macheso’s talents.
Zhakata has endorsed the album launch, posting on social media to confirm his availability for the show.
The discography − the studio making
Having mentioned the release of “Tinosvitswa Nashe” next Friday, Macheso boasts of a rich catalogue of songs.
These comprise “Magariro”, “Vakiridzo”, “Simbaradzo”, “Zvakanaka Zvakadaro”, “Zvedo Zvenyu Kunyanya”, “Vapupuri Pupurai”, “Ndezvashe”, “Zvinoda Kutendwa”, “Kwatabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure)”, “Tsoka Dzerwendo”, “Dzinosvitsa Kure” and the 2020 single “Zuro Ndizuro”.
Although “Zuro NdiZuro” was released amid a raging Covid-19 in 2020, it stood its ground in terms of being received by his fans.
But “Tinosvitswa Nashe” is expected to surpass expectations, and silence competitors, especially copycats who tend to regurgitate everything that Macheso does.
It’s sad that the new crop of sungura artists all want to sound like “Baba Shero”, a worrying development for sector. In the past, sungura artistes were distinct.
Examples that instantly come into mind comprise of the late legends Leonard Dembo, Cephas Mashakada, John Chibadura, Paul Mpofu, Paul Matavire and System Tazvida.
One could not confuse these singers’ music, although they all based their compositions on the sungura beat.
Flexibility – Baba Shero has shown the way
Macheso’s road to fame was full of thorns.
Raised at a farming community in Shamva where he was taught nothing but tilling the land, Macheso should be proud of his journey.
After dropping out of school to pursue his dream in Harare, Macheso’s history would be meaningless without mentioning those who assisted him.
One of the people who gave him shelter is Shepherd Chinyani, the unassuming sungura mentor based in Dzivaresekwa.
Chinyani is still there in Dzivaresekwa and he is father to Progress Chipfumo’s drummer, Simba. Macheso was only identified by Zakaria when they worked together at Vhuka Boys.
He worked with Madzibaba for over a decade before their split in 1997, which saw Macheso assembling his own band in 1998.
The year 1998 would mark his journey as a solo artiste who defied all odds to become a household name. It is a rare feat reaching 24 years being at the peak in showbiz, where pretenders easily fall by the wayside.
Till death do us apart – marital woes
As we celebrate his triumph, Macheso should himself luck after his career was almost soiled by his relationships.
The most outstanding extra marital affair that almost ruined Macheso’s career was the much publicised one involving Tafadzwa Mapako.
From the court drama, graphic bedroom shenanigans to the near split of his band, Tafadzwa was indeed an influence in Macheso’s career and life.
Tafadzwa, Nyarara –Unyararise
However, Macheso has remained firm and resolute with the support of his wife, Nyadzisai.
When Baba Shero lost the plot with Tafadzwa, Nyadzisai, his wife, made sure that she stood with her boyhood sweetheart.
At one point, many thought Macheso would leave Nyadzisai, but he silenced his foes by sticking with her despite the presence of Tafadzwa and all the trouble that accompanied the affair.
For Baba Shero, he realised the error and decided to come back home and be with his wife.
It was also a life-changing lesson that no one is perfect in love.
Lifestyle – ‘His Mode de vie’
Despite all the fame he now commands, Macheso has remained a humble man who still leads a simple life.
He prefers hanging around with his band members.
Unlike most celebrities on home soil, Macheso does not carry that superstar tag around.
When he is not at work, its either he retreats to his Shamva home or his farm in Chivhu where he breeds cattle as part of his retirement plan.
There shall come a time when the body can no longer allow him to carry on and when a fall back is required.
Big corporates like Nedbank, Nash Paints, Esteem Communication and the Zimbabwe Red Cross of Zimbabwe have thrown their weight behind Macheso.
This is enough proof that he appeals to many brands.
These are likely to jostle for space on June 9 at his executive dinner at Rainbow Towers.
Judging by the enquiries, a full house is guaranteed at both the executive dinner and the album launch.
And why not.
In the last 24 years, Macheso has proved he is a big brand and a man of the people driven by passion, sacrifice and talent.