Cheso Power heads to Zambia

Cheso Power, who has fast-tracked his way to stardom since he came on the scene in 1998, with his debut album Magariro, which carried Pakutema Munda, will perform at the Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka and Busiku Night Club in Livingstone.

The shows, which will also involve man-of-the-moment K’Millian, Barbara Taylor and the Amayenge are being organised by Lashers Promotions of Zimbabwe in conjunction with Muvi TV.

The K50,000 per-person Mulungushi show will be on June 23 while charges for the two Busiku Night Club shows are yet to be confirmed. The shows are also meant to promote Barbara Taylor’s new album, Cry for Africa, focusing on poverty and HIV/AIDS.

The proceeds from the shows will go to the Musayope Support Group for living with HIV/AIDS in Kanyama.

Cheso Power’s show in Zambia will no doubt help him enlarge his fan base here where the most recognisable Zimbabwean music is Oliver Mtukudzi.

Otherwise, this is the artiste who is probably best known for the album Simbaradzo, considered as a turning point in his career. That, and Mundikumbuke and Mai Rubhi, which remain national chants even to this date, brought Macheso into the limelight.

He was to follow on the success of Simbaradzo with Zvakanaka Zvakadaro, the album which confirmed that, indeed, Zimbabwe had given birth to a new sensation. Those who chose to ignore him, did so at their own peril. And most did – but not to for long. Though there have been many schools of thought on the strength of Macheso ‘ with some arguing about his skill with the bass guitar, some contending that it is his vocals and others proffering his dancing skills, it is generally agreed that the musician is of immense talent. He can dance, sing and play the guitar ‘ a rare combination of skills among musicians.

He is an entertainer par-excellence. Besides such a pile of talent, Macheso does his own song-writing.

But that is not to say that the road has been without any torture and pain for the sungura giant.

According to his official website, Macheso, 38, born in Shamva, 90 kilometres to the north of Harare, to parents of Malawian origin ‘ a fact that was to inspire him to be able to speak and sing in five languages ‘ Shona, Chichewa, Sena, Venda and Lingala, had a lot of difficulties as a youngster.

Growing on a farm, the environment did not offer him many opportunities. In 1983, at the youthful age of 15, he left the farm compounds of Shamva to head for the dizzy lights of Harare at the invitation of a relative, who had been inspired by Macheso guitar-playing prowess at the farm compound.

But things did not go according to plan and soon Macheso was to switch camps. He moved in with Nicholas Zacharia: “He really acted like an uncle to me and took me into his home. They provided me with everything up to the time I married my wife,” recalls Macheso.

The two went on a music-inspired journey, joining several bands, mostly sungura-playing outfits.

In 1997, he broke ranks with Zacharia, to form his own Orchestra Mberikwazvo, the outfit that backs him to date. “I remember we used to be regulars at Murambinda in Buhera and there was this braii-man who used to do it differently from others. And I would comment ‘mberi kwazvo zvaunoita’ and the saying stuck. When the managers at Gramma (his recording studio) asked me what the name of my band was, I simply said Orchestra Mberikwazvo.”

From that day, the rise and rise of the band had been a gradual phenomenal experience and at the rate he is going, it would be no wonder, if, in five year’s time, he would be a force to reckon with on the African scene. ‘ Times of Zambia

June 2006
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