GREEN Manatsa says they feel empty without their parents Zex and Stella Manatsa who died last year.
Zex died on January 20 last year while Stella passed away seven months later. Speaking to H-Metro after the release of the compilation album of Zex Manatsa’s songs from 1974 and 1975, Green said they still miss their parents.
“It has been lonely. We miss his humour and his love together with mum. It feels like he is going to show up tomorrow and say I am back guys, cook some tea with milk and eggs for me please tozodya mazondo manheru.
“All the children and the grandchildren miss Zex and Stella Manatsa,” he said.
“It’s been tough carrying on without them. We have never done this before, but we have learnt to lean on each other, talk about how we are feeling from time to time. We have learnt to pray at another level and depend on God.
“We try to talk about them and laugh and remember the pleasant moments,” he said.
Asked what prompted them to come up with the compilation album, Green added:
“We have never travelled this route before. On January 1, this year, we woke up and started talking about how it was dad’s birthday, we realised we had not prepared anything to celebrate his life because it was our first time to celebrate his birthday posthumously.
“As such, we thought we needed to prepare for his first anniversary since he died.”
Green said the idea was backed by his siblings who felt it was noble to honour their father.
“We started compiling notes and reflecting on his life and realised that there is a lot of recorded musical material and information which is not out there and has not been documented.
“For instance, Chipo Chiroorwa was the first song in Zimbabwean music to receive a gold disc award from Gallo Records for sales exceeding 25 000 copies in three months, while Chipo Chiroorwa the album released on 2 February 1975 was the first album to be released in Zimbabwean music history.
“The Green Arrows did their first tour out of Zimbabwe in Beira, Mozambique, in 1980 while our parents’ August 1979 wedding made history.
“Zex and the Green Arrows spent time with Bob Marley and the Wailers when they came for the 1980 independence celebrations and, of course, how he supported the liberation struggle in song and resources,” he said.
With genuine fears that Manatsa’s legacy has been shaken, Green vowed to keep it intact.
“We are doing our best to preserve a good name as they did. We are pursuing music in its different aspects. Some are frontline on stage, some behind the scenes in studios, in management,” he said.
Music wise, Green assured fans of more to come after the release of the Zex Manatsa 9174–1975 album.
“The 1974–1975 album is the first of many albums which we are going to release in the near future. Next, we hope to release the album Chipo Chiroorwa. It is going to be a lot of work, but we will release album by album and year by year compilations as we go along and we also hope to document and publish their works too.”
As one of the children who was exposed to the big stage at a tender age, Green felt honoured.
“When I was young, I found my place in the studio and I must say I preferred recording mixing and mastering works by full band acts, especially Zim Centric Music.
“I also learnt that practice makes perfect, we grew with each task so I keep grinding. Everyone probably shares the same standards,” he said.
“There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from the lives and accomplishments of our parents. Those guys worked hard. We are learning from their accomplishments and strengths and would like to build on that. We are also learning from their failures and shortcomings, since they too were human and there is no need to repeat the same mistakes.”