Melissa Mpofu in Harare
Masvingo Afro-Fusion band, Identity are this year’s winners of the Chibuku Road to Fame music competition.
The eight-member group which was formed in 2016 shrugged off competition from nine others at the Glamis Stadium in Harare on Saturday and received a recording contract and $20 000 prize money.
On second position was afro-fusion band Jesa from Harare with Matabeleland South’s Dengedza Express coming third. For their efforts, Jesa is set to receive $15 000 and $10 000 for Dengedza Express.
In 2017, Identity whose music is about love and the way people live, made top three at provincial level. They improved their act last year and were second. This year, they meant business as they clinched the top spot at provincial level and went on to shine at the national finals, putting Masvingo on the map.
The group’s leader, Munashe Zhira attributed their win to perseverance and hard work.
“We’re overjoyed. After trying our luck for the past three years, we’re glad that it finally paid off. All we did was improve our act and for the national finals, we just applied what we rehearsed and it worked,” said Zhira.
With so many Afro-Fusion bands competing for the top spot at this year’s national finals, Zhira said their type of afro fusion was outstanding as it was a bit different from the rest.
As they will be expected to get into studio soon to record their debut album, the group said they are geared as they have already composed a couple of songs which are fit to be recorded on the album.
The group which had challenges getting equipment/instruments said that will soon be a thing of the past.
“When we formed our group, we had challenges with instruments so we’d hire from others. This made it difficult for us because when we had shows, we’d be under pressure to get instruments from others. But since we have money now, we’ll buy our own instruments,” he said.
Inspired by the likes of the late Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, the band leader said their aim is to reach similar levels. To up-and-coming bands who are trying to make it in the industry, Zhira said they should not tire, but persevere and seek advice from established artistes and previous winners of the Chibuku Road to Fame competition.
From this point on, the group intends to record videos which they hope will further promote them.