TRUST KHOSA recently in MUREWA
Departed yesteryear crooner Tinei Chikupo was only appreciated by his kith and keen when his music was played on national radio, according to his mentor.
Born on the 19th of March 1952 and died on September 22 1992 aged 40, Chikupo had his roots at heart and used his talent to drum up support for freedom fighters.
And 29 years after he breathed his last, the name Tinei Chikupo is hard to forget.
While there are sickening and astonishing distortions about his place of burial, wealth and love life, villagers in Chikupo village feel hard done people peddling liars.
Speaking to H-Metro on the sidelines of the Tinei Chikupo Mausoleum due to be unveiled on August 1, Sekuru Elias Muchapondwa said the late Maonera Band member enjoyed dancing and singing at a tender age.
- CHIKUPO CHILDHOOD
Sekuru Muchapondwa said he saw Chikupo when he arrived to the new world as a baby.
He claimed that he whipped Chikupo in line during his adolescence, the same way he did to his own kids.
And he also brags he was the first villager who ‘anointed’ his talent when many a villager didn’t understand his calling.
While Sekuru Muchapondwa saw talent in Chikupo, other villagers were riled by the then hyperactive Sirivhiya Hande singer.
“I saw him the day he was born in the village here and how he rose to become a star musician.
“During his childhood, Tinei annoyed some elders who would say mwana uyu akaganhira (this child is ill-mannered) as he enjoyed dancing whenever he got the opportunity to do so.
“I sat down with him on countless times advising him to keep up the dancing and singing which he enjoyed.
“He would dance at nearby shops like Chuma Changu over there and he became a darling of many when he kept his dream,” he said.
The cotton-haired Muchapondwa said he encouraged Chikupo to take part in school choirs where he honed his vocal ability.
“I was not shocked when Tinei became popular with fans as he sang in school choirs.
“His absence would be strongly felt once he was not around to perform his duties.
“It later dawned to other villagers that Tinei was more than a singer as he went on to put Murewa on the map.
“As you heard from other elders here, there are lots of dancers, mbira players and singers here who did not take it up but Tinei who was once ridiculed is one of them to make a mark,” he said.
Sekuru Muchapondwa said Chipuko became an instant hero when his songs like Sirivhiya Hande, Chamunorwa and Emily became popular.
“We used to gather around a radio set each time Tinei’s songs were played and I told fellow villagers that it was the same Chikupo they used to call all sort of names.
“Each time he visited the village, he would shower fellow villagers with gifts and even buy him beer.
“He became an idol and ambassador in the village that we need to support our kids to follow their dreams.
“Each time he visited from Harare, he made his stopover her and thanking me for standing with him when people used to ridicule him.
“In Chikupo, he was pure class and represented a rare breed of talented artistes who could have gone to waste had we not cheered him up,” he said.
- TINEI CHIKUPO MAUSOLEUM
On Chikupo’s Mausoleum whose construction has reached advanced stage thanks to Clive Malunga’s Jenaguru Arts Centre, the ageing grandpa was at a loss for words.
“This has never happened in the whole province and I would like to thank Cde Malunga for the great work they are doing here.
“This is now our new Heroes Acre here in Murewa where we will be gathering regularly celebrating our hero.
“His statue and the flat which is going to be hoisted here will renew the closure we had with him.
“I’m grateful to the people like Clive Malunga who are doing their best to save the community.
“Up to now we don’t know how to thank him is we might be frank with you.
“Even our local member of parliament has never done anything close for the community since we voted him in office and people like Clive Malunga are the heroes we should always embrace,” he said.
Sekuru Muchapondwa said the erecting of the Chikupo’s Mausoleum was a lesson to many that children need parental guidance when they choose career paths of their choice.
“When you touch hearts of many during your lifetime like what was done by Tinei Chikupo, it’s also easy to win back their hearts even when you die.
“Imagine Chikupo died in 1992 and right now he is still being remembered for what he did.
“This speaks volumes of what he was as a person, entertainer, teacher and family many,” he added.
In another interview, Malunga said he was working hard to ensure they beat the August 1 deadline.
“At the moment we are buys with construction work and right we are almost done.
“We will also construct similar projects for other late icons that I believe are heroes as well.
“As for Chikupo, he was not only a great dancer but hero who used music to drum up support for the freedom fighters,” he said.
“I saw him when he was still starting and once shared the stage with him in Norton and those memories will never fade and he deserves to be honoured in this way.”
Chikupo’s daughter Brenda and cousin Fungai are superintending the construction of the Mausoleum along with Malunga.
The late crooner died in 1992 when he had reached his peak in music.
Then, he worked with the likes of Khiama Boys leader Nicholas Zakaria among other yesteryear groups.
He once stayed in Norton where he got the mentorship of Jackson Phiri and the Limpopo Jazz Band.
He also shared the stage with yester year outfits like Safirio Madzikatire, Zex Manatsa, Jobs Combination among others.