Boniface Chimedza Arts Correspondent
He was a promising star who rocked the charts in the early 2000s with his hit song “Memo” in a defining moment of his music career which propelled him to international limelight.
Sensationally known as “Changa”, the musician — whose real name is Maxwell Chikowore — has for over a decade travelled a winding road with his career being unceremoniously halted by a nasty divorce, which hindered his hopes in a foreign land five years ago.
Having stayed in Germany and in Austria for close to a decade since 2002, Changa was eventually deported from Europe upon his separation from his wife Elizabeth Sedlack, a German national with whom the musician has two children. A sad tale of events unfolded following the dissolution of his marriage. He claims that there were physical and spiritual attacks against his life, perpetrated by members of a satanic cult.
In what the musician believes was an act of sorcery, he alleges that it was in 2012, when he was staying in Berlin. “First, I was followed by people without knowing it. My food and drink were spiked. I only learnt of this later after it got worse. I got confused and confronted my wife. I later broke up with her suspecting that she was being used by some mysterious people,” said Changa. “There was poison in the food which I ate and I got sick. At the hospital, the doctors told me that I had to be operated immediately, otherwise I would die.”
The alleged food poisoning incident saw Changa undergoing a surgical procedure for the treatment of his abdomen, with the musician asserting that the doctors claimed that he had a hole in his stomach as a result of the alleged food poisoning. After the operation, the musician claims that he had his permanent visa terminated and he was arrested and detained before he was subsequently deported.
“First, they sent me to an Austrian prison, Eisenstaedt and then back to Berlin; where I was offered an asylum status which I declined. After finding out that I was still being followed and drugged, I decided to come back to Zimbabwe,”
Changa returned to Zimbabwe with state of the art music instruments as well as two new vehicles, a Jeep Cherokee and a Nissan Vanette, which he alleges were later auctioned while he was still processing their clearance.
In 2015, amidst the myriad of challenges, Changa sold all his musical instruments and went to Cape Town, South Africa. He claims that he kept on feeling like he was being followed; culminating in his decision to go and live on a mountain called Lion’s Head, where he claims he stayed for months, surviving on food he regularly bought in supermarkets.
Haunted by the perpetual images which the singer likens to ghosts, the artiste descended from the mountain and sought medical attention, which saw him being admitted at a psychiatric hospital in Sandton, South Africa, where he then received mental treatment for four months. After his discharge from the hospital, the musician then returned to Zimbabwe, reigniting his musical career once more, after a decade of toil.
He had recorded his fifth reggae album called “King of a Tribe” in Germany, before his deportation. However, the music career failed to take shape as he failed to regain his lost fame. The musician is still hopeful that his star in the music circles will rise again. He is currently staying at his father’s house in Marondera, his father is based in the UK.