Tadious Manyepo Lifestyle Writer
He calls it a pinnacle project. The zenith, but certainly not the ceiling. He always says it is up to the fans to judge and he has done his bit.
His fans and critics have waited, for eternity, literally, for this moment.
And it has arrived, at a time when the country can make merry again.
Virtually everything, including his industry, had been closed, for the past two years, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic which left the world crippled. He couldn’t help but wait, though he remembered the fans, somewhat with a single, “Zuro Ndizuro” on December 4, 2020.
With the pandemic threatening to end the world, the song didn’t quite make an impact.
But things have eased and sungura king and arguably the country’s flagship musician, Alick Macheso, has pounced once again.
The statement is loud. He is out to reclaim his fame. The fame which has, always temporarily, gone to budding contemporary musicians.
For once, its back, fixed on him.
He celebrated his 54th birthday last night with a bumper crowd that attended the launch of his 12th studio album at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.
And what a performance that was! Macheso has always been unique. He is so good his own fans can’t really tell, even in a formal poll, which in his discography, opened with the album “Magariro “in 1998, is the best ever.
In total, the Shamva-raised musician has done 74 songs from 12 albums.
Macheso’s last offering before the latest, “Dzinosvitsa Kure” was released on June 6 2018 and officially launched at the same venue two days later. With gripping tracks like “Madzitete” and “Vane Zvavanoda”, the album was a reminder that the extraordinary bassist was still very much in the game. And after a good three-year wait, the lyrics-smith has dropped a dynamite – “Tinosvitswa Nashe”.
That is an apt title to the album, for it captures every strata of social life.
Education, entertainment, information, all bundled into a single, six-track album.
“We need to always cherish whatever we get in this world,” Macheso said in reference to his works. “Above all, being alive is a great gift from the Almighty. We had to name the album “Tinosvitswa Nashe” as we always realise, without God, we are doomed, we cannot get anywhere, hence that title.
“We have been in this game for decades now. Mberikwazvo (his band) has been in this industry over the past 20 years and on reflection, we should realise it has been the work of God. We are grateful to the Almighty for the gift of life, for the band and for the music.”
“As usual, the album is purely a commentary on daily life,” said Macheso. “Kutsiura zvakaipa, zvazvakaipira nekurumbidza zvakanaka, zvazvakanakira.
“We have tried everything to make this album a perfect offering. We now leave it to the fans to process. We are always grateful to them. They make us tick, they are central to our industry and well, we thrive to make them smile.”
Songs on this album are “Makazvinzwepi”, “Kutadzirana”, “Nzendo Dzirefu”, “Munhu Mumwe”, “Ndimi Vanhu Vacho” and a Chewa one “Impfa Nimulandi”.
The track becomes Macheso’s fifth in Chewa after “Kumuzi Kwatu” off Vakiridzo (1999), “Mundikumbuke” (Simbaradzo 2000), “Chisoni” (Zvakanaka Zvakadaro (2001) and “Amuna Wanga” (Ndezvashe-eh 2007).
Macheso has also mixed Chewa and Shona lyrics on such songs as “Parudo” (Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya (2003), “Nguva” (Simbaradzo), “Kudzima Moto” (Zvinoda Kutendwa 2010), “Zvipo” (Kwatakabva Mitunhu 2012) and “Baba” (Tsoka Dzerwendo 2016) to good effect, too.
The latest album has the potential to eclipse all his previous offerings.
“Impfa Nimulandi” is a moderate paced song whose theme centres on the inevitability of death and the need for the living to cherish every moment.
In this track, Macheso displayed his artistic aesthetics, but it is particularly the rhythm guitar, strummed by Zacharia Zacharia, that is likely to steal the hearts of many. Macheso also dedicated the song “Ndimi Vanhu Vacho” to his fans where he hails them for standing with the band through thick and thin.
The song opens with some Kanindo influence and as it progresses, turns back to pure Sungura. The album is so good that Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire bought it for US$10 000 when it was auctioned on Thursday evening at an executive dinner at the Rainbow Towers.
The deputy minister was the highest bidder as he added another $10 000 from his business empire, while other business personnel, friends and musicians pledged their donations. At the dinner, Macheso also received five cattle and 10 goats.
The event was well attended by the who is who in the arts sector, including fellow musicians. Clad in a black and white suit, Macheso, who turned 54, received shower praises from fellow musicians as they sang the birthday song before sharing their testimonies. Musician Jah Prayzah, Sulumani Chimbetu, Mark Ngwazi, Seh CaLaz and Joseph Madziyire were the ones on the podium singing happy birthday to you.
Macheso later took to the podium to sample some of the new songs on the album as he paved way for the album launch at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex yesterday evening.