Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
REVERED mbira outfit Mbira DzeNharira will add a cultural feel at the much-hyped unveiling of Teneyi Chikupo’s Mausoleum on October 3, event organisers say.
Born on March 19 1952 and died on September 22 1992 aged 40, Chikupo’s has been remembered 29 years after death.
Former freedom fighter, music researcher and arts promoter Clive Malunga is behind the initiative meant to honour departed arts practitioners.
With the count-down to Chikupo’s Mausoleum unveiling having reached its fever pitch, Malunga announced the inclusion of Mbira DzeNharira under the aegis of Tendayi “Samiata” Gahamadze in the line-up.
In an interview with H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle, Gahamadze confirmed the invitation.
“It feels great after being invited to come and perform at Teneyi Chikupo’s mausoleum unveiling in Murewa, his rural home.
“Growing up in Norton, we have known Chikupo as a great dancer who used to entertain people owing to his ability to dance.
“He was popular with fans especially at nightspots where they had duke box which enable people to for any music they wanted to listen to.
“We were not surprised when Jackson Phiri roped in him into his band as a dancer. He became an instant hit before he relocated to.
Mverechena where he established himself and formed a band,” he said.
Gahamadze hailed Malunga’s Jenaguru Arts Centre for their initiative in documenting Zimbabwean history and honouring late icons.
“I would like to salute Cde Malunga for the initiative he has undertaken to remember some of our heroes because it means a lot to us as an industry.
“Surely, we can’t afford to salute people like him because he has done a lot for the arts sector over the years.
“In our cases, we started working with him when he was still hosting the Jenaguru Arts Festival that used to take place at Gwanzura.
“We have always been in touch with him and we felt honoured when he invited us to come and be part of the programme,” said Gahamadze.
“On behalf of my group, I can safely say we have been honoured to be part of this programme and it shows people still have faith in us.
“This invitation comes at a time when we are working on our 14th album called Chivimba Namuyeni due for release soon.
“We are also going to some of the songs there.”
In another interview, Malunga said it was all systems go.
“We have done our ground work, we are just waiting for the important day to come so that we show Zimbabweans how important is it to salute our icons.
“We have invited Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana as their guest of honour.
“There are business executives who are also supporting us, especially Nash Paints chairman Mr Tinashe Mutarisi donated 50 litres of paint, two brushes and one roller brush for us to spruce up the structure.
“We have also invited Mr Farai Mpfunya, the Culture Fund director as the master of ceremony,” he said.
Malunga said he was looking forward to the great day for Chikupo started off as a dancer before assembling his own group.
He rose to prominence in Norton where he settled before settling in Mverechena where he honed his artistic skills as a musician.
In Mverechena, he used to exchange notes with the likes of Simon Chimbetu and his younger brother Naison.
He also rubbed shoulders with the likes of John Chibadura Shepherd Chinyanyi and Cephas Karushanga who were resident at Mverechena Business Centre.
During his stint in Domboshava, Chikupo reportedly met the likes of Motion Dzumbunu, which saw the birth of Mawonera Stars.
Sadly, he died in 1992 aged 40 at a time he was destined for starts.
Fellow musicians Alick Macheso, Nicholas Zakaria, Shepherd Chinyani who worked with Chikuko have been invited at the event.
Murewa based parliamentarians have been invited.