Could Tongai Moyo junior save Dhewa music?

14 Mar, 2020 - 00:03 0 Views
Could Tongai Moyo junior save Dhewa music? The late Tongai Moyo

The Chronicle

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent

Following the death of sungura guru Tongai Moyo due to cancer in 2011, Peter, his eldest child had to inherit the Utakataka Express outfit as has become the norm in the local music industry.

By then, Tongai’s house in Mbizo 20 in Kwekwe was almost complete and Peter, was given another task of ensuring the construction of the house was completed.

Peter also took over the burden of ensuring that there was food on the table and took all of his father’s children into their four-bedroomed house.

Tongai left behind six children, Natasha, Nicole, Obert (Tongai Junior), Tanaka and Peter.

Obert, then aged 13, had a fall out with his elder brother and decided to relocate to South Africa where his mother is based. There, he was to meet Ronnie Mudindo, one of the founders of Utakataka Express and now Orchestra Vazvamburi front-man. The two were to form a teacher-pupil relationship with the lanky self-proclaimed best bassist in the world, Mudindo, committing to teach  Obert the strings.

Mudindo and  Obert with the assistance of other former Utakataka Express band members who abandoned ship following irretrievable differences with ‘Boss Peter’, have combined forces to come up with a formidable combination touted as one of the best.

Recently, the outfit, also using Utakataka Express, dropped a single titled ‘Dhewha Vedu’. With a striking resemblance to his father with a trademark smile, Obert, backed by Mudindo, Willard “Willo” Loti and Matthew Perego, who recently received a punch from Peter while on stage and left in a huff, left everyone who gathered at The Club at Mbizo 4 Shopping Centre this past weekend convinced that the youngster was a star in the making.

Apparently, The Club is now owned by former Utakataka Express manager and sound engineer, Sukol Dube.

The group took fans down memory lane while belting some of the late great’s songs at a joint Dhewa regarded as his home. While taking nothing away from Peter, who was literally dragged from the football pitch to the microphone, Obert, with a little bit of help, can go a long way and perhaps fill in the shoes of the late great Dhewa.

While Peter, whose controversy is well documented, has four albums, fans are yet to be convinced that he is the person to serve the Dhewa Music genre, either by his natural ego and arrogance or by failure to manage a band.  Although Obert vehemently denies that the latest single was an aimed dig at his elder brother Peter, the lyrics in the track lay everything bare. In the track Dhewa Vedu, Obert asks why only one person is enjoying their father’s inheritance at the expense of everyone else.

Obert, exhibiting his maturity side, which Peter probably lacks, however said his main agenda is to protect his father’s legacy.

Obert who had been into Zimdancehall said he had changed to Sungura as he wants to keep his father’s legacy alive.

“I sing out of passion as it’s the only way I can relay a message. I also want to protect my father’s legacy so I’m here to protect what my father spent years trying to build,” said Obert after accepting an honorary award on behalf of his father during the Kwekwe Arts Merit Awards last week.

He said he is also trying to mend differences with his brother.

“We’re trying to fix our relationship and I’m sure we’ll get there. Personally, I don’t have any problem with him, yes we might have different mothers, but we remain Tongai’s children,” Obert said.

Brian Samaita, who was Tongai’s top fan, said Obert was critical in his career as he nurtured him. He added that he is working on his debut album that will be released this year if all goes according to plan.

“Funds permitting, we might be releasing an album entitled ‘Vedzinza rinodadisa’ sometime this year,” he said.

It remains to be seen whether Obert who is being touted as a natural talent, will be able to give Peter a good run for his money and be able to salvage Dhewa Music.

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