….stage had become my office
…my poultry project collapsed
Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
LUCKY Mumiriki vividly remembers May 14 2011.
It is a sad day he traded the stage for the hospital bed in what would become a turning point in his life.
He suffered a stroke, which has grounded him since then.
Again, it was the same month illness left him considering a new career-path after he suffered from stroke.
For the past two decades, the stage had become his working station while merry-makers cheering him on stage would give him the edge to go.
It now nine years, one month and two days after Mumiriki was diagnosed with the illness which would cut his flirtation with the Orchestra Mberikwazvo.
Of course, he is still part of the group on an advisory role as Mumiriki can no longer play the guitar as he used to when he was fit.
A fiery rhythm guitarist who had a flirtation with the late System and Peter Tazvida, Mumiriki need no introduction.
And his contribution to Alick Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo is beyond words.
Mumiriki said he has learnt to accept his condition which do not allow him to be back on stage anytime soon zigzagging his guitar.
“It’s now nine years and I have realised that my life won’t be the same again after that illness.
“My former boss – Alick Macheso – did not desert me after I got sick and he still checks on me and we always talk.
“He has been giving me strength and I respect him even though I can no longer help him on stage,” he said.
The former Chazezesa Challengers rhythm guitarist said only God knows his destiny even though he remains hopeful in life.
“In life we can’t throw in the towel and concede that we have failed but we need to have faith to keep pushing forward.
“In my case, I hope God has and will always help me to conquer and survive,” he said.
- POULTRY PROJECT COLLAPSE
The father of three daughters said he was also not spared by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic which has seen many people losing their sources of income.
“It’s a phase that we need to think outside the box to be able to survive in this era.
“I was used to the old ways of doing business but I am also grounded with this others who are struggling to make ends meet,” he said.
Asked how he was managing to sustain his family, the former guitarist of repute said:
“It’s hard but we have embraced the new era which does not allow us to do business the old way.
“I used to keep chickens at home for sale but the project has collapsed.
“Poultry had become my fallback plan but right now I can’t afford to checked feed and the whole chickens have been sold because it has been a while since lockdown was effected.
“After this illness, poultry was my only source of income but as it stands right now I am grounded.
“Despite being grounded, I still have business ideas which requires capital.
“However, we need to accept the situation on ground that no one was responsible for this illness.”
Mumiriki said it was high time people exchange ideas to eke out a living.
“This is the right time we need to work hard, show each other love and think outside the box.
“As for the lockdown period, we need it to save lives but we hope things will be fine once the lockdown is lifted.
“We have since tried to adhere to the regulations but we need to work for our families and bring food on the table,” he said.
- JUJU SCARE
Mumiriki was also quick to dismiss reports of juju use among band members saying it was a normal illness which left me grounded.
“I have heard the juju scare rumours but in my case, I don’t believe all that is being said.
“In my case, I take this stroke like any other illness which can affect anyone.
“I wouldn’t want to think in an old fashioned manner because many people have been saying it.
“If successful people can suffer from stroke, the same can also happen to anyone.
“After all, life is important because I still have the brains to think of new projects proposals,” he said.
Despite the nine years he has endured doing the wrong things away from music which had become his stable, Mumiriki reckons life still need to go ahead.
“Life still goes on my brother and I can’t keep mourning or thinking of my new condition.
“Of course I can no longer play the guitar as I used to do but I can still mentor upcoming musicians.
“I am now in a position where we can give youngsters tips about the music industry and areas where they need to work hard.
“In our cases, we have done our mistakes and I wouldn’t want these youngsters to be caught off side.
“So in other words, we are urging the crop of upcoming artistes to fully utilise us and we can help them if they need our advice,” he said.
Mumiriki said it was high time veteran artistes give back to the new crop of artistes by offering free counselling sessions.
“We might be humble artistes who have not achieved a lot but we have seen and experienced a lot.
“As seasoned artistes who have seen it all, we can’t afford to be self-fish and starve the new crop of artistes of real advice.
“Another problem we face right now is that some of the upcoming artistes are not forth-coming.
“We might be in different genres but the music advice is the same; the challenges being faced by artistes is the same and we need to each other,” he said.
Mumiriki is a seasoned guitarist who was plucked from the back of beyond and ‘bussed’ to Harare where he met the likes of the late System Tazvida who became part of his music journey.
After his death, he found himself an integral player at Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo where he established himself as a key player.
Get well soon Lucky Mumiriki….Life goes on!