Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
FOLK and fusion musician, Gumi Mauruka, believes his recently released album “Hwedza Kuchamhembe” will provide the breakthrough he has been longing for over the past 40 years in music.
Mauruka started his music journey in 1979, performed with four bands across his career and boasts of recording four albums, including the latest production.
The 61-year-old musician launched his career with a single “Mbiri Kunashe” recorded at Gramma Records.
Although the single failed to be among the hits list, it received fair airplay, earning him calls to perform at Super Seasons and Club Hideout 99 in Harare.
“I had contracts with the club between 1985 and 1987. I was paid a salary for playing my music there. During my spare time, I could do other jobs meaning their deal was pretty good,” he said.
Mauruka went on to form Orchestra Kings, which later shared the stage with big artistes of his time like Zexie Manatsa.
“Zexie (Manatsa) was very big at that time. He was one of the popular artistes I shared the stage with,” he said.
After putting all his efforts into music, it appears fortunes did not smile at him as his music failed to make an impact on the domestic scene.
His Orchestra Kings later became defunct, forcing him to form Big Mars Band. With the new outfit he recorded “Samatenga”, a song that became popular and received vast airplay.
To date, “Samatenga” remains one of his most popular songs.
“After some years of failing to record more music, I decided it was time to move on. I joined Tandarai Vibes,” said Mauruka.
With Tandarai Vibes, Mauruka recorded “Chinyakare Part One”, an album in which he combined efforts with Mike Mungoshi.
“My songs occupied one side of a cassette, while Mungoshi’s occupied the other,” he said.
The album did well on local radio charts, but Mauruka said sales were terrible, creating tension between him and Mungoshi.
Their union ended.
In 2011 he formed Mauruka Stars and recorded their first album, “Chinyakare Part 2” a year later.
With his band, they recorded a second album titled “Hwedza Kuchamhembe” released last week.
“For years, I have worked as a building contractor. I used the money I got for rehearsals and to hire equipment,” he said.
Of late, the gods seem to be smiling at him, as he managed to forge deals that see him playing at Club Manake in Ruwa, Chillaz Night Club in Westwood and Wenera in Damofalls.
Mauruka dreams of producing a hit that will lend him the ears of the nation.