BY TENDAI SAUTA
CHITUNGWIZA-BASED sungura musician Bornface Mukwada of Chimbishi Express band has urged fellow artistes to diversify into income-generating projects rather than relying on showbiz alone.
The Chimbishi Express band frontman told NewsDay Life & Style that the COVID-19 pandemic had swept away potential revenue for artistes after the ban of live concerts that attracted physical gatherings which used to be their main source of income.
“The only way to get out of this COVID-19 scenario which has brought a lot of struggles is to take up an entrepreneurial activity which can boost income streams,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukwada’s latest five-track album Mutimbwa showcases maturity in practical musicianship and lyrical proficiency acquired over years of his apprenticeship with the late sungura maestro Leornard Dembo’s Barura Express.
It was recorded at fellow sungura king, Alick Macheso’s Alema Records by Aron Tom and was mastered by veteran producer Bothwell Nyamhondera.
“My latest album’s title (Mutimbwa) connotes folding a blanket halfway so that the first half becomes either the mat or the cushion while the other covers the body,” he said.
“I am distributing my music through several selling points and I am happy it has been well received as it is available on digital media platforms such as YouTube and is also playing on terrestrial radio stations.”
Mukwada, who became a household name in Chitungwiza for brazing and arch welding, said he draws his inspiration from the Chitekete hit-maker.
“For me, Dembo up until his death was not only a teacher, but an inspirational genius whose legacy on talent continued to inspire us when Innocent Mjintu took over as the band leader,” he said.
He bemoans the effects of piracy for depriving artistes of their earnings.
“Piracy has been everybody’s enemy and we need to come up with means to sell the music that benefits the artiste while business is carried out in a profitable way,” he said.
“My new single Nherera (Orphan) is a call for sympathy and compassion for orphans and vulnerable children.”
Mukwada released his first album titled Chitekedza in 2006, followed by Nhanzva in 2008 with his third Ziso Rerudo coming in 2014.
His latest album has the title track Mutimbwa, Hazvinei, Ruregerero, Zai and Ruva Rangu.
The Chimbishi Express band is made up of seasoned musicians, Mukwada as a lead guitarist and vocalist, Jealous Dimingo as the main rhythm guitarist, Ishmael Chimboma on sub rhythm, Shadreck Ndlupo as bass guitarist and backing vocalist and drummer Munene Muchichwa.
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