Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
ITAI, son to the late yesteryear musician Ketai Muchawaya, says the Covid-19 lockdown has stalled his progress.
The 36-year-old says he is heart-broken as the coronavirus is taking its toll on the creative sector.
However, the Simba Brothers front-man remains hopeful that good times will be return once normalcy returns.
So hopeful is the father of two who has been steadily building his fan base with the help of sungura icon, Alick Macheso that he still rehearses at home.
Buoyed by the success of his two albums – Ngoma Ndiyo ndiyo released in 2014 and Ngei Muchidero (2017) – Itai was on the verge of releasing his third album titled Dzangove Ndangariro which was due for release in April.
- COVID-19 SETBACK
Like most artistes, Itai – who is also son to the late Kasongo Band founder – said production work has been stalled.
“We record in the capital and with the lockdown restrictions, mobility is the main issue for us to get in town to put final touches on the album.
“Since March, we have been patiently waiting for the lockdown to be lifted but there is nothing we can do at the moment as health matters.
“We can’t afford to put our lives at stack because we only live ones,” he said.
Itai said they had planned a proper launch which was set to be followed by a series of shows.
“Like I indicated before, we wanted to launch the album in April with a series of shoes set to follow but we cancelled all the plans.
“As it stance, we don’t have a clear picture when we will continue recording and holding shows because the situation does not permit us,” he said.
- FAMILY LEGACY
Itai, who lost his father in 1999 when he was in Form One, said he was doing his best to keep Mukoma Ketai’s legacy alive.
“Music wise, I think I have done my best to keep the legacy alive and there is nothing much I can do at the moment with the current situation,” she said.
Asked whether he was working with his other siblings towards preserving the legacy, Itai said:
“Well, at the moment I am the only one pursuing this dream since my other siblings who can also sing are doing other things.
“One of them is an army officer while the others are in South Africa saka mumwe neumwe anongloita yake.
“I have since assembled a new group altogether even though other former Simba Brothers members who worked with my father are still alive.
“For instance, Donald Gogo who worked with my father still comes to check on me and if I need his expertise he said he will be available.
“I have realised that it was my role to ensure that we safeguard my father’s legacy,” he said.
- FALLBACK PLAN
With the majority of players in the creative sector failing to make ends meet, Itai is safe, at least according to him.
“I have been running some grocery shops all along and that’s where I am supplementing my family.
“I can’t say I make a killing but I can survive with my family.
“At the moment what is important is to be able to bring the food on the table and pay bills
“We are in a difficult situation where we need to devise new survival tips,” he said.
- TOUGH UPBRINGING
Despite being raised in a polygamous family, Itai said the experience has helped him to man up.
“On my mother’s side, we are four and my mother Jane Dinhira (late) being the first wife.
“Many father had four wives but he preached unity and up to now I get well along with my siblings.
I attend Tamuka Primary School in Unit C, Chitungwiza.
“For my secondary education, I enrolled at Howard High School (Mission) where I wrote my Ordinary Levels and passed with flying colours.
Afterwards, I enrolled at Beverly High College where I did my “A” Level.
“I could not proceed to tertiary education due to lack of fans after my father’s death in 1999,” he said.
After the death of his father, a close relative managed to send him to A Level but she could not afford to pay for my tertiary education.
He has since decided to venture into music to keep his father’s legacy.
Itai is also a dealer who is into grocery supplies among other scarce commodities on the market.