Our beloved nation has lost a hero.
It is not easy for Zimbabwe to see her legendary musician Zex Manatsa go.
The former Green Arrows boss succumbed to cancer yesterday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Zimbabwe will never be the same again.
His death has robbed, not just the music fraternity, but the nation as a whole.
Even though he died at 78, what he has achieved and left for us, is both timeless and priceless.
This, like Oliver Mtukudzi’s life, is a life that should be celebrated, even as we mourn.
Everything about Zex, from his birth on January 1 in 1944 to his death on 20 January 2022, must be celebrated.
We should treasure how this man began his career in 1959, at the tender age of 15, how he used to perform copyrights with his young brothers as Mambo Jazz Band, and how he formed the Green Arrows, in 1968, in Bulawayo.
We must reserve this man’s spot in history and never forget the part he played to unite the nation.
In his own unique way, he sang to unite the nation during the war of Independence and contributed to the many smiles Zimbabweans wore, in very difficult times.
Even when he decided to venture into sport, he made sure he pleased everyone with songs for all the top teams that had huge fan bases like Dynamos, Highlanders, CAPS United and Zimbabwe Saints.
He made sure each set of fans celebrated using his music.
Zex also groomed a lot of artistes who made a name in Zimbabwe, to prove his selfless character.
Top of the list, obviously, is Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi, who sailed to greatness, through the assistance of Zex.
Many musicians died with their talents and never cared to share them with younger artistes.
But, Zex was different and through his grooming, Zimbabwe got to see the rise to stardom of arguably one of the most talented musicians to ever walk our land, Tuku.
Little wonder then that Tuku grew up to be just like Zex – talented and selfless – and left the great Pakare Paye to groom artistes, even after his death.
Everyone will remember this great man.
Everyone will remember his hit songs, Chipo Chiroorwa, Chitima Nditakure, Hwahwa, Tea Hobvu, to mention but a few.
Perhaps, what really shows the amount of influence Zex had is that famous 1979 wedding, which saw Rufaro Stadium being filled to the brim, by people who paid to attend the wedding.
It is a good thing that, last year, Manatsa was one of the recipients of the NAMA [email protected] Awards for his consistent contribution to the development of Zimbabwean music.
While it is sad that we have lost this great man, the truth is we have no reason to mourn.
Zex has left a legacy that will forever remain etched in the country’s history.