04 Aug, 2021 - 10:08 0 Views
‘UTAKATAKA BRAND IN WRONG HANDS’ DISCORD continue to haunt the late Tongai Moyo’s family, 10 years after his death


Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor

TONGAI Moyo’s brand risk being interred with his remains if not well safeguarded, a yesteryear musician and former classmate has said.

Fellow musician Wellington Mareva, who sat in the same classroom with the late singer at Mbizo High School in Kwekwe from 1984-7, said the Utakataka brand was in wrong hands.

Wellington Mareva

The 49-year-old former cop and Mupandawana Knight Riders front-man said Dhewa’s children Peter and Tongai Junior had a long way to go in preserving the ‘special’ brand.


Dhewa succumbed to cancer on October 11 2011 aged 43.

The late Tongai Moyo

Shortly after his death, Peter Moyo – Dhewa’s eldest son – took over the reins.


With expectations higher, many a critic believes the Utakataka Express brand has suffered stunted growth while Peter is adamant he is steering the ship in the right direction.


One the other hand, his younger brother – Tongai Obert Junior Moyo – has fighting for the throne but he seems to be spending much of his energy on trying to dislodge Peter than singing.



Mareva said the legacy of Dhewa’s calibre needed special attention considering how they toiled to build their musical empires.


“I was privileged to have sat side by side with Tongai Moyo from Form 1-4 at Mbizo High School in Kwekwe.


“From my interaction with him at high school, Dhewa has always wanted to establish himself as a musician despite being above average in school.


“In high school, Dhewa was already playing the rhythm guitar for Shepherd Musekiwa who used to front Shir Nhema Jazz Band, which was later renamed Shiri Chena.


“We would accompany him former auditions and rehearsals. It was through that interaction that my interest as a drummer grew and I then became a singing drummer after joining the Police Band,” he said.


Mareva said Dhewa took many of his peers by surprise when he made a breakthrough as the singer built his empire secretly.


“In class, he was above average and one of the students you could hardly notice until the teacher calls his name.


“He has always been a humble guy and we clicked well such that we would do home work together either at my place or his residence.


“We then formed a special clique of six people that was made up of two girls Rachael Chabata and Lilian along with four boys that comprised myself, Dhewa, Shepherd Gazimbi and Israel Madimura.


“It was this clique which was aware that Dhewa was already a guitarist while the entire school was not aware.


“He always told us to keep it a secret that he was a guitarist saying he was building a special brand that will shake the musical industry,” he said.



Mareva said Dhewa has always been a charmer from the days he was in high school.


“Despite being a quiet school boy, Dhewa was always a ladies’ man as girls loved him for his character.


“He dated beautiful girls but was not the type of guy to give it all since he would easily get another girl.


“One of the girls I vividly remember was Olivia Machida who was head over heels in love with Tongai.


“I don’t know where she went but Olivia loved Tongai so much that they became the talk of Mbizo.


“In our case, especially myself, I didn’t have a fuss about girls since I was a book worm.


“However, our friendship was cut after school as we perceived other careers,” he said.


The Gutu born Mareva said it was Dhewa who pushed him seriously take music as a career after his breakthrough.


“When Tongai made a breakthrough around 1995/6 with song Vimbo, I gave him a call congratulating him.


“I was also challenged that hard work pays because I have seen Dhewa building Utakataka brand from scratch.


“Then, I was already in the Police force as a columnist for the Outpost Magazine and officer as well.


“I facilitated his inclusion in the Police General Fanfare where he became a regular performer at the annual event.


“Despite his breakthrough, remained good buddies and when he died, we were in touch but I could not attend his burial since I was working in South Africa during that time,” he said.



However, Mareva’s brand bleeds for the Utakataka’s brand where discord has become a staple in Dhewa’s family.


“Tongai Moyo’s brand is in safe hands to say the least because Peter Moyo seems to be struggling.


“Of course he is surviving through music but for genuine Tongai Moyo fans, this is circus on its best.


“Peter Moyo has been focusing on wrong things ever since he took over the reins and those who have been loyal to him must have lost patients,” he said.


On his thoughts on Tongai Junior, he added:


“To be honest with you, Junior must respect Peter Moyo as a brother and stop channeling his energy on him.


“No matter the differences they have, Junior must understand that Peter has the birth right and that will never change.”


He however praised Tongai Junior for his talent.


“Music wise, Tongai Junior can excel and keep the Utakataka brand in tact if he remains focused.


“I have seen the potential that he has but he needs to focus on his career and not Peter Moyo.


“To be honest, the two youngsters are sitting on a gold mine and they will only realised it too late.”

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