Home » Arts & Culture » Macheso Saga a Learning Curve

THERE is little to cheer about, a son of the ghetto is bleeding!

A symbol of success and what hard work can do to the poorest of the poor is shaken.

Happenings in the life of sungura maestro Alick Macheso leave a sour taste in the mouth and render the eyes teary.

Fame, cash, alcohol and women are a cocktail for disaster and this seems to be coming true in the drama unfolding in the Macheso camp.

Alick Macheso burst onto the music scene in 1998 with his debut album “Magariro”.

Laden with social commentary and danceable tunes, however, the first cut did not do so well and the following year he was to release “Vakiridzo”.

Similarly, the response was not that pleasing and the following year, he went back into the studio and came out with “Simbaradzo”.

This album was to be the turning point in his career with songs like “Petunia” and “Mai Rhubi” thrusting Macheso into the limelight.

He was to follow on the success of “Simbaradzo” with “Zvakanaka Zvakadaro”.

Macheso can dance, sing and play the guitar, a rare combination of skills among artistes.

“Zvakanaka Zvakadaro” was followed, in 2003, by “Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya”.

“Vapupuri Pupurai”, “Nekuti Ndezvashe,” “Zvinoda Kutendwa” and “Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure” are other albums the talented artiste has released in his illustrious carreer.

Macheso was born in 1968 in Shamva, 90km 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.

Growing up on a farm, especially before Zimbabwe’s Independence from Britain in 1980, the environment did not offer him many opportunities.

In 1983, at the youthful age of 15, he left Shamva for Harare.

Arriving in the capital at the invitation of a relative, who had been inspired by Macheso’s guitar-playing prowess at the farm compounds, the two went on a music-inspired journey, joining several bands, mostly sungura-playing outfits.

In 1997, he broke ranks with Nicholas Zakaria to form his own Orchestra Mberikwazvo.

Macheso is well-known throughout Africa as one of the most successful African singers and ranked among the best bassists on the continent.

He is Zimbabwe’s best-ever selling artiste with his album “Simbaradzo” being the highest ever sold album in Zimbabwe.

Macheso is believed to be arguably the best sungura artiste ever to emerge from this land, although Leonard Dembo (also a sungura great) was also good.

The late John “Mr Chitungwiza” Chibadura was good and so were the late James Chimombe, the late Fanuel “System” Tazvida and the late Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu.

In recent years Macheso has risen to become an aertising face for many corporations with his recent achievement being appointed Red Cross humanitarian ambassador.

With all this and wealth that comes with success, Macheso married a second wife Tafadzwa Fortunate Mapako four years ago and sired two children.

The relationship is now under strain, with the two firing barbs at each other in the Press and trading accusations and counter-accusations.

As it stands, the two are fighting over paternity tests and maintenance payments in a case that threatens to strip this revered artiste of his dignity. The woman claims she wants out because of the musician’s unorthodox way of treating a child’s sunken fontanelle.

What pains in this Macheso saga is that the musical journey he has travelled is so long that it cannot be cut short because of a woman who was not even there when this former farm boy was building his music empire.

“Vakadzi havaite blaz. Iri kutambwa murume uyu ndiyo yakaoma. Dai Mwari vapindira,” a Macheso fan could be heard saying while quaffing beers in Glen Norah last weekend.

“Life is so unfair. If you look where this man came from, I just do not think he deserves this. Unobva watoshaya kuti zvinhu zvacho zviri kufamba sei?”

The sentiments were echoed by Lydia Mudoka, a Mbare-based vegetable vendor: “I do not like what is happening to Macheso to happen to my son. Chidzidzo chikuru ichocho. Varume havanzwe. Kungoita kamari vavekuda madhirezi. Chiona zvazoitika manje.”

Mudoka said the Macheso saga had been tried in the court of public opinion and the artiste was guilty of failing to control fame, money and women.

According to experts, celebrities are never far from our consciousness and it seems that every week there is a new story about a celebrity who is on a one-way trajectory to Ruinsville having just recently stopped off at Embarrassment Central, but there are some lessons we can learn from the downfall of celebrities to ensure that our lives don’t take a similar course.

Now, with the immediacy of technology, we can find out information about celebrities and their issues even before their nearest and dearest. There is no escaping the multitude of social networking sites, smartphone technology and the ability for things to go viral in next to no time.

Biblically, the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife depicts a story where Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce Joseph.

Joseph was bought as a slave by the Egyptian Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh.

Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, who spurned her aances. As Joseph repelled her attempt to lure him into her bed, she grabbed him by his coat: “And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business and there was none of the men of the house there within.

“And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out” (Genesis 39: 11-12). Citing his garment as evidence, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of having assaulted her, and he was sent to prison.

Women with power are no good because they sometimes use it to abuse vulnerable men.

Even after David killed Goliath, he was given the king’s daughter Michal for a wife who later led to his downfall after plotting with her father.

There is a lot to learn from the Macheso debacle.

After all his band is called Orchestra Mberikwazvo, we’ll see where it all ends.

Inotambika mughetto.

Source : The Herald