Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
MUSICIAN Potipher Mopo says he took music as a career nine years ago to save the family legacy from extinction.
The 40-year-old heir apparent to the throne, who was ‘ordained’ by his father and yesteryear musician Mike Mopo in 2012, said he was determined to make an impression.
Mopo retired from music in 2006, leading to members of the then mighty Zimbabwean Art With Action (ZINAWA) Band to pursue other trades.
And being the eldest son who learnt the ropes under his father’s tutelage, Potipher said he was now making giant strides on the local music landscape.
“My father quit music in the year 2006 to venture into the petroleum business with Exor Petroleum which led to his band almost disbanding.
“Since I was mentored by my father and mastered the original sound he wanted, I decided to revive ZINAWA in 2012 and up to now I think I am doing the best I can.
“I have since recorded three albums (namely Runyararo in 2012, Ndega Zvangu (2015), Ngaikwane Changamire (2017) with the fourth album named Ndimi Munotonga due for release on July 31 if all go according to plan,” he said.
Unlike most sons and daughters of both living and departed music legends who inherited their parents’ groups and equipment, this was not the case with Potipher.
The pint-sized crooner who is comfortable on both the rhythm guitar and lead vocals said he started from scratch.
“I am one son of a music legend who started from point zero which makes my story a but unique. When my father quit in 2006, his band members went separate ways while others died.
“So it meant that I had to be strong and come out from my comfort zone to assemble a new ZINAWA,” he said.
ZINAWA’s original members Alfred Mupesa who played the keyboard, Chenai Mbandara (bass guitar), mbira player Ishamael Mutowambira, Leo Musena (lead guitarist) and Wallen Chakadya plying his trade with the Air Force of Zimbabwe Band.
The other founder members include Orderly Chakadya who has since joined the Prison Band, US based George Mvurambamaruva and rhythmic guitarist Richard Huni.
Asked whether he was still consulting the ‘old guard’ in his projects, Potipher said:
“As it stands right now it’s very difficult to engage the old guard which served my father.
“Some have since found new opportunities and it’s hard to convince them to quit since they have settled wherever they are right now.
“More so, I have since recruited a new band that I have been working with since 2012 and it would be unfair to sacrifice them for the founder members of my father’s original band,” he said.
Potipher said he was now committed on building his name and keep his father’s legacy alive.
“I think I now have the experience to be my own man and I am glad that I have a sibling who is also following in my footsteps.
“The one who has shown interest in music is called Mbune Mopo, my younger brother and we are cool working together as siblings,” he said.
The father three said he was also blessed to able to revive his dad’s legacy while he is still alive.
“What has made my situation peculiar is that all my parents are still alive and if I make a breakthrough it will be on merit and not sympathy.
“I might have taken long to become a household name but I am cool with it because music is seasonal and I am just waiting for my chance to come so that I can make it big.
“I also don’t have the pressure to sing like my father because he is still alive as compared to other sons and daughters of departed music legends.
“In music, one needs to be patient and continue working hard to meet our goals which might take long to come.
“I also want to be remembered as someone who was creative and his own man in the years to come despite my father having set the pace long back,” he said.
- NEW STUFF
On his forth-coming album, he was roped three producers – Jabulani Ndlovu of Trutone Studios, Maselo and little-known but yet talented Wellington David.
Some of the songs to look forward on this eight-track album comprise Mukoma Varamba, Ngoma Yekwedu, Kusina Amai, Handna Mhaka and the title track, Ndimi Munotonga.
Potipher said they will be guided by the Covid-19 situation on whether to launch it online or hold a public launch.
He was upbeat this album was a game-changer and worth the wait after taking his time working on it.
Meanwhile, Potipher is currently working on the visuals of both old and new songs.
“We will continue shooting videos in our quest to make an impact since visuals are good in marketing ourselves,” he said.