Home » Arts & Culture » When Girlfriends Divide Musicians

Some years ago, somewhere in the plains of a remote rural area where we grew up herding cattle for the better part of our boyhood, seniority was determined by fighting.

The best fighter of an age group assumed seniority regardless of age. Just like Okonkwo, in Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart”, who “was known throughout the nine villages and beyond” because he had “brought honour to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” at the age of 18, the “senior” herd boys were also known in other villages.

Okonkwo got popular because he had beaten Amalinze who “was the great wrestler who for seven years was unbeaten, from Umuofia to Mbaino”. There were Okonkwos and Amalinzes of the plains. Seniority in the plains came with benefits. The best fighters would make others take care of their cattle or send them to get wild fruits for them in the bush while they relaxed under a shade, on a huge rock, or even up a tree.

For these benefits, there were daily fights as the young boys challenged each other. Even when there was no specific conflict between the fighters, they were made to kick each other’s mother’s “breasts” that were made by heaping two soils lumps to represent the breasts.

Daily, the fights took place on the plains and seniority periodically changed hands. As time went on and we approached the early stages of puberty, conflicts moved from “our mother’s breasts” to girls. It was mischief that came with serious consequences from teachers and parents when discovered but the natural physical changes pushed most of us into this risky behaviour. Boys prided themselves in being the best suitors and anyone who could get the beautiful girls of the village got the envy of his peers.

This activity became a new source of hatred and conflict, albeit in a rather subtle way. Only the rowdy and less cunning physically fought for girls.

So, when dancehall musician Quonfuzed bashed fellow musician Seh Calaz and talked about their musical beef, it reminded me of the boyish superiority fights on the plains. Only that Quonfuzed (or “Confused” to make the name more applicable to the recent incident) did not realise that fans have the final say in music popularity. But when Quonfuzed further claims that he beat Seh Calaz because he snatched his girlfriend. I recalled our rowdy and less cunning peers.

However, Quonfuzed only went beyond the lines when he used violence to settle his jealousy but the issue of haggling for ladies is common in our industry.

There is a certain group of ladies that stalk these musicians and fall in love with as many as approach them and this culture has threatened unity among our musicians. It is the same in most sectors when ladies target people of a particular profession or career.

But it is worrying more when it divides artists in such a way. Musicians end up composing songs threatening each other over girlfriends. This is believed to be the biggest reason why Alick Macheso and Tongai Moyo were enemies. They denied the enmity but it was always evident that something very personal separated them.

There is a story about a UK-based lady who bought them similar clothes and they got to know they were going out with the same person when they met wearing the outfits.

Then there was the story of a Madhuve that Macheso sang about. This Madhuve openly told me she was going out with both musicians and showed me text messages from them showing how they were fighting for her.

Then there was a recent case between Peter Moyo and Dino Mudondo. Dino claimed that Peter was sending messages to his girlfriend and indicated he was not happy about what the young man was doing.

Another case in point was between the late musician Andy Brown and Farai “Cde Fatso” Monro over the former’s ex-wife Chiwoniso Maraire. Andy had no kind words for Cde Fatso when he realised he was going out with Chiwoniso and he called him names. It later emerged Andy and Chiwoniso had rekindled their romance.

Such is the scenario on our music scene. When musicians fight over girlfriends, unity among them is under threat but the artistes should know that there is more to their career than girlfriends.

Source : The Herald