Cheso, give nothing but quality

WHAT if you wake up today and it is January 1, 2019? The question that you would obviously ask is, who won the elections — Nelson Chamisa, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Egypt Dzinemunhenzva or one of the other 100 or so contestants in this year’s election?


Many questions.

Will Zimbabwe be at peace? What about former President Robert Mugabe, what would he be up to?

Will dancehall stars Winky D, Freeman, Killer T, and Andy Muridzo and ExQ still be on our playlists?

Will we be having spaghetti roads and bullet trains already?

Will “cheap and affordable electricity” and the Zimbabwe “we want” be there then?

You never know, because with 2019 still six months from now, many things can happen between now and then.

But what we know now — far from the toxic politics — is that sungura musician, Alick Macheso, also known as Baba Sharo and arguably one of the biggest local musicians, is going to break a three-year silence with a new album on Friday.

The album, Dzinosvika Kure, will be launched at Aquatic Complex in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza.

This is a man whose musical journey started in the early 1990s being a backing vocalist and bass guitarist for Khiama Boys and he rose steadily to become such a force that he sent others musicians into oblivion

I can still see the picture that accompanied the newspaper article, and had Zakaria and Macheso standing together and aptly captioned “When times were good”.

What happened was that Macheso had charted his new path in music, and from then, he has never looked back.

He was to find himself in serious rivalry with the late Tongai Moyo, which was good for the music industry, as the two brought the best out of each other.

That is probably why Macheso’s album, Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure) released after Moyo’s death was a shoddy job, a sign that Cheso Power had become too complacent in the absence of his arch-rival.

In 2015, in the thick of Zimdancehall and the emergence of popular bubble gum stuff, Macheso made a significant attempt to make up for his previous album and released the not-so-bad Tsoka Dzerwendo, which did quite well.

But it has been three years now, with nothing new, so his latest offering comes with high expectations given that there have been gap fillers in the form of some young sungura guys like Romeo Gasa, Simon Mutambi, Mark Ngwazi and Tatenda Pinjisi.

Most of these are direct Macheso copycats, who imitate the heavy bass lines and high pitched vocals of the king of sungura, except, perhaps Tatenda Pinjisi, who I regard very highly for his fine-tuned lead guitar riffs and his attempt to go back to the 1990s sound of sungura, which was not largely dominated by the bass guitar, and had the lead guitar dictating the pace of songs.

I have had serious reservations about Macheso’s excessive obsession with the bass guitar, especially in his last few albums, but I guess it is natural considering that he plays it and he does so very well

Apart from making sure the music is of top-notch quality, I hope Cheso has not done an overkill of the bass guitar sound, and has fine-tuned vocals to sound natural and calm not like someone who is yelling.

I hope that Leonard Zhakata and Sulumani Chimbetu are reading this because they have also kept their fans waiting for too long.

It is my hope that the delay by Zhakata is to make sure we have better stuff this time, not Mutungadzose that somehow miraculously dominated the Radio Zimbabwe end of year chats at the end of 2016.

I hope Extra Basso gives us quality or nothing.

We need that good music for the obvious post-election celebrations — or maybe moaning — that awaits the nation.

I mean, whoever wins, considering their colourful promises, we are going to be happy, aren’t we?

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