Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
FORMER cop and yesteryear musician Wellington Mareva sees the grace of the Lord when he reflects on his ‘scary’ past.
The Mupandawana Knight Riders boss, who rose to prominence in the late 90s with chart-toppers like Portia and Farai Neidzi, says he lost most of his peers to Aids due to recklessness.
Although the 49-year-old sees the grace of the Lord in everything, Mareva believes there is more to it from his ‘possessive’ wife.
The Gutu bred told H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle that he suspects his wife of lacing his food with love potions for him to shun other women.
“I think my wife gave me some powerful love potion because loose women would not turn on.
“During our heydays, many of my peers would make it a habit that they sleep around wherever we travelled for live performances while others would end up having unprotected sex.
“Then, my focus was purely on music but I am now convinced that my wife did something to me to shun other women.
“If she indeed gave me some love potion, I would always thank her for the rest of my life for saving my life and I believe God used her in a unique way,” he said.
The former Police Band member, who has just released his sixth album titled Kuchema Kwehanga, said focus has taken him place.
“I’m glad that I have just released my sixth album in good health but I owe this success to the focus I had as well as sticking to my set goals.
“Born and bred in Gutu before relocating to Kwekwe where I met my former classmate the late Tongai Moyo, I can safely say I have always wanted to excel but it was not easy without focus,” he said.
Mareva – one of the few prolific singing drummers to make it to the top, of course after the late Marshal Munhumumwe – says hard work has taken him place.
“I showbiz, there are so many talented people who failed to reach their full potential due to bad influence and lack of vision.
“For the past 30 or so years that I have been in the game, I have always wanted to be a winner and that is why I managed to live to this age in good health.
“I always think of my peers who died like Tongai Moyo, my nephew Aaron Chinamira among others that I used to hang around with during my youthful days,” he said.
He said he is dedicating his latest album Kuchema Kwehanga to his late peers as well as those in despair due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My latest album carries six tracks namely Usafa Nechaunoziva, Vapei Rudo, Akandinyepera, Padhuze Navo, Kupfuma Kwakaipa and the title track Kuchema Kweganga,” he said.
Mareva said Kuchema Kwehanga comes at a time when he was determined to enrich his catalogue since he used to take long breaks before recording another album.
He said he was committed with work at the Police Band which he joined in 1992 before he assembled Mupandawana Knight Riders in 1996.
“Besides this latest album, I have recorded five other albums with my band which comprise Vabereki Vanokosha released in 1998, Zveuchenjeri (2000), Farai Neidzi (2001), Hatidududzi (2002) and Munotii Neidzi 2003 while Kuchema Kwehanga released this year is my sixth album.
“I have been taking long before recording due to work commitments with the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“At one point I left for the UK between 2007-2012 where I worked before I returned to home but moved to South African in search of greener pastures.
“I returned home to work for the police again but I decided to leave to pursue new challenges in the private sector, a move which I don’t regret,” he said.
- ROLE MODELS
The father of seven he owes his success in music to his role models who started before him.
“To be honest, I am hone person who appreciate those who paved way for us and those who made a distinction to ensure that we come up with our own genre called sungura.
“These people comprise the late Marxist Brothers co-founder Naison and Simon Chimbetu, my former classmate Tongai Moyo who introduced me to the music industry when he was still with Shirichena Jazz Band.
“Then there was also my nephew Aaron Chinamira who died when we were on the verge of recording my duets.
“All these artistes that I have mentioned did sungura but they were unique in one way or another unlike these days of copycats.
“During our times, we all wanted to sound unique and that alone made sungura music enjoyable because artistes would create a certain beat the would easily make them distinct,” he said.
Unlike most of the yesteryear living veteran musicians who have lost their band members, Mareva’s band is still intact.
“What makes my band unique is that the core of Mupandawana Knight Ridrs is still there from Onismo Hwekwete, Simbarashe Chitetere, Gift Wonder, John Manyozo to Gift Wonder.
“It’s encouraging to note that some of these guys have since assembled their own musical groups but we always unite when we want to record something big.
“Again, I see the hand of the Lord here because we have lost some of peers that used to dominate the charts years back and for us to be still alive makes it a pride,” he added.