…I quit plumbing for music
Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
One of the 3rd Generation Band’s long-serving ‘generals’ Blessing “Mazunza” Moyo says consistency and hard work define Jah Prayzah.
Not only is Mazunza cherishing his paymaster’s work ethic, professionalism and creative edge but he is learning from the best.
While Jah Prayzah might be younger than him, the affable bass guitarist says it’s a blessing contributing to the mega star’s music empire.
Chief among the things Mazunza has learnt from the multi award-winning crooner is hard-work, focus and perseverance.
Now that he has been empowered by the Uzumba bred star, the 37-year-old says he doesn’t want to die a “mere” guitarist but would like to give new talent the opportunity to record.
And in this case, Mazunza is giving back to aspiring musicians in form of a recording studio in New Canaan, Highfield.
Mazunza, who has been building his studio equipment for years, is over the moon after getting the blessings of his pay master.
Aptly named Mutinhimira Recording Studios (MRS), the stable has become a hit with both young and seasoned artistes.
“My boss Jah Prayzah knows very well that I have a studio that I am running and he promised to record a single here.
“In fact, I started mobilising the studio equipment for a while and in 2015, there were structurers even though I didn’t have state of the equipment.
“It’s only three or so years back when things started shaping up that I came up with the stable.
“I’m mainly dealing with underground artistes with the assistance of my producers.
“We started operating in the CBD and later moved to Highfield.
“I recorded two of Andy Muridzo’s songs off his album that had the hit song Dherira and producer Maselo finished the product.
“Some of the artistes we are working with comprise Attraction from Mutare, Whisper T, Rodney Natsa, T-Shadow, Trish Nyandoro, Mutswashe Nyamayaro, Da Shocker among other upcoming artistes,” he said.
In his quest to, to unleash new talents, Mazunza said some of his products were deterimined to conquer.
“As a person dealing with unheralded artistes, we just take it step by step.
“On April 10, we are going to unleash the music of one of our brightest prospects Trish Nyandoro who will be unveiling her album Hodha Bhero.
“Afterwards, we will also launch music of two more artistes more.
“As a stable, we want to professionalize things and stop doing things in a haphazard manner where artistes just record and take their music and go,” he said.
JAH PRAYZAH LINK
While new doors are now opening for Mazunza, he will remain indebted to people who linked him with Jah Prayzah.
“Musically, I can safely say that I was largely self-taught but I then established myself after a successful stint with Jabavu Drive where I was an assistant sound engineer.
“I used to carry speakers and cables before they roped me into the band as a bass guitarist.
“One of the elders in the band called Mdhara Nicho was the one who introduced to Jah Prayzah around 2009.
“Up to now, it has been 12 solid years together with Jah Prayzah with who me struggled together.
“At one point, we would hold rehearsals from 8 am to 4pm since Jah Prayzah wanted us to take our jobs seriously.
“He made us feel like a family and it was strongly felt when was late or off sick.
“As a musician, I had never worked hard like what I did with Jah Prayzah since he wanted the best from us,” he said.
HOUSE OF STARS
Mazunza said Jah Prayzah made him realise that it was easy getting the best of everyone on board.
He however said the departure of some of his peers who went on to from own groups or starts new projects was difficult to fathom then.
“Each time when a member left the band, we were really affected as a family since Jah Prayzah had taught us to stick together.
“At one point, we had the likes of Baba Harare, Gonyeti, Generator who have since left the group to try something new.
“The one who pained us most was Gonyeti who disappeared on the eleventh hours as we were launching one of the albums at HICC.
“Baba Harare followed suit and I was really worried and affected since it’s not easy to make new members gel with the rest of the old players.
“Despite the ship being shaken at one point, Jah Prayzah remained firm and resolute as he reminded us to remain focused and concentrate on our careers.
“Jah Prayzah is one person who would not stand on your way if you have new ideas or projects but everything has to be communicated to him in formal way.”
Mazunza said the departure of other members came as a blessing in disguise to other new names.
“Of course some people might say we lost people who used to be the core of 3rd Generation Band but the truth of the matter is that those who came on board managed to stir the ship.
“I have also realised that Jah Prayzah is the face of 3rd Generation since he continues to amass awards and set new records.
“In fact, what has happened to Jah Prayzah is a true reflection of how big brands will remain standing despite being shaken,” he said.
Prior to Mazunza establishing himself as a music producer and 3rd Generation Band’s vital cog, he quit tertiary education for music.
“I enrolled at Harare Polytechnic where I wanted to study plumbing but I couldn’t proceed with my education.
“I started for a full year but I could continue with the programme since must was my first calling.
“Another problem I encountered was lack of funds and I then decided to take music as a career for a livelihood.
“I don’t regret the decision since I am now somewhere as a result of hard work and commitment to music.”
Mazunza was born and bred in Harare which he still calls home to date.
“I was born on the 10th on May in 1984 being the first born in a family of three – two boys as a girl.
“I attended Mhizha Primary School in Highfield before I proceeded to Mukai High in the same neighbourhood.
“Like I indicated earlier on, I enrolled at Harare Poly where I studied plumbing but dropped along the way,” he said.
Mazunza comes from a strong music background which made his love for the art easier.
“My father Ben Tomato is a founder member of the late John Chibadura’s Tembo Brothers outfit.
“He was also a member of Sungura Boys which was led by Ephraim Joe. He also worked with the Blues Revolution and later Mike Mungoshi’s Lazy Bones.
“So in other words, music has always been part of our family since my father taught me to play the guitar.
“Other people who helped me comprise Tawanda Ndoro, George Pahlani and of course my dad.
“I then perfected my stage performance at church where I was given the opportunity to express myself at One Way Ministries,” he said.
In short, this sums up Mazunza – a member of 3rd Generation Band, producer and mentor.