21 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views


Trust Khosa

THE National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) yesterday hailed Zex Manatsa as a creative genius.

Manatsa succumbed to cancer yesterday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

He was 78.

In a statement, the arts regulatory chiefs described his death as a huge loss.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe has leant with sadness the news of the death of NAMA legend, Zex Manatsa (78), who passed away at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare today, after a long battle with cancer.

“The Board, Management and Staff of NACZ, sends its sincerest condolences to Mrs Manatsa and family, and joins the entire nation in mourning the death of one of the pioneers of township music.

“The death of Zex has once again robbed the nation of one of its most talented, celebrated and revered artists, who inspired many musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi, James Chimombe, Lovemore Majaivana, and Simon Chimbetu,” reads part of the statement.

The NACZ board also hailed the deceased music legend for his willingness to mentor other artistes.

“Manatsa was a uniquely talented individual who was not only concerned about his own musical career but also shared his talent with other musicians, notably leading to the formation of the Sunrise Kwela Kings at Jairos Jiri Centre in Bulawayo, where he advocated the inclusion of musical skills training.

“During his decades-long career, Zex released many tracks, which have proved to be all-time hits, keeping him on top of Zimbabwe’s pop charts for many weeks. Manatsa was passionate about the welfare of artists. Growing up in an era when people looked down on musicians, he advocated for the recognition of music as a serious profession,” added NACZ.

Manatsa was born on January 1, 1944, and began his music career in 1959, at the age of 15.

He used to perform copyrights with his young brothers as Mambo Jazz Band. Manatsa later formed Green Arrows Band in 1968 in Bulawayo.

In 1972, the band was courted by a South African saxophonist West Nkosi, who became their producer, resulting in the album, Chipo Chiroorwa.

Last year, Manatsa was one of the recipients of the NAMA [email protected] Awards for his consistent contribution to the development of Zimbabwean music.

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