Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
SULUMAN Chimbetu says the dendera brand co-founded by his late father Simon and younger brother Naison is in safe hands.
The 39-year-old, who inherited the band after Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu’s death, said it has always been his wish to keep the family legacy intact.
Chopper died on August 14 at his Mabelreign home.
And 16 years after his death, Chopper’s legacy has become popular with merry-makers on the national showbiz calendar.
Fellow musicians in other genres have also been celebrating Chopper’s legacy with the Chimbetus of song – Suluman, Allan, Tryson, Saiwe and Douglas.
However, Sulu has this year deliberately omitted other Chimbetus and roped in fellow comrades in guitars.
Sungura torch-bearer and father figure Alick Macheso will tomorrow headline the 2021 Simon Chimbetu Virtual Concert.
Urban grooves star of the moment, Roki, Jah Signal, Pitshou Lumiere, Diana Samkange and Jean Masters are also part of the bill.
The event will be streamed live on Nash TV at 8pm tomorrow.
Speaking to H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle ahead of the commemorations, Sulu’s camp insists they have done their best to keep the brand intact.
“I think our work speaks for itself. The band that we inherited from my father was at the helm of Zimbabwean music for several years.
“It has not been an easy road but we are still up there with the best of the land.
“We have encountered several problems lately, chief among them the Covid-19 pandemic which has literally killed the sector.
“We feel our album could have done better had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic but I guess it is also a learning curve,” he said.
Sulu said he this year’s commemorations which also falls in this heroes’ month were a bit special as they share some of the lessons learnt from Chopper.
“Some of the biggest lessons from my father are that of unity and love; just loving the person next to you makes the world a better place.
“He was also big on unity. This is why we try all means possible to unite with everyone.
“This explains the direction that we are taking with this year’s commemoration.
“He touched many lives and we are striving to do that every day. Some liked calling him the Master of Song and indeed, that he was,” he said.
Sulu said he also learnt powerful song-writing from his late father.
“I still shudder at the richness of some of his compositions to this day both lyrically and sonically.
“His music was just out if this world. While I am not trying to be him, I emulate him with every musical endeavour.”
Sulu also cleared the air on why some of the Chimbetus of song are not part of this year’s festivities.
“No one was omitted. The concept is different from what we did last year. That’s just about it.
“Chopper was a celebrity, a national treasure so to say and we are just proving that with this concept. There is nothing wrong with that.
“People have different opinions but I am working on this concept not only as his son but as a musician in my own right.
“It’s my right to work on concepts that I believe can showcase my father’s artistry adequately and not to just bend to every whim. We will not do that.”
He also took the opportunity to clarify how he came up with the concept.
“It was influenced by several factors but most importantly, the need to unite the sector particularly during the ongoing pandemic,” he said.
He also welcomed the support he received from the corporate world.
We are extremely grateful to all the corporates that have come through to support us and show confidence in our brand.
“The pandemic has decimated lives and businesses and so we are grateful for the support.
“It is a different concept that we are confident will be memorable. It is unfortunate that the pandemic has made it impossible to gather but we would have wanted to do this with fans around,” he said.
Explaining the theme of the concert, Sulu added:
“The Music LIVES theme is based on Simon’s rich compositions he might be late but his music is much alive and imparts profound life messages in our daily livelihood.”
Old and new dendera lovers will tomorrow catch all the action on Nash Tv Facebook page where Sulu promised a number of surprises.
He said Chopper was a musical hero who deserves a befitting commemoration in both good and trying times.