MBERIKWAZVO’S LEADING LIGHT
. . . Macheso’s chemistry with Nyazanda
. . . Noel’s guitar leads sungura revival
MUSICIAN Alick Macheso reckons there is chemistry between him and the usually reserved, yet troublesome multi-instrumentalist, Noel Nyazanda.
Macheso, who turns 50 on June 10, says he has accepted back the nomadic guitarist despite being deserted on two occasions.
Initially, Nyazanda deserted Macheso when he joined Suluman Chimbetu’s Orchestra Dendera Kings in 2011 where he only lasted for three months.
On the second occasion, the 39-year-old jumped ship along with the then disgruntled members of Orchestra Mberikwazvo Jonas Kasamba, dancer Francis ‘Slomo’ Dhaka and drummer Obert Gomba to form Extra Kwazvose before he retraced his roots when discord rocked the camp.
Despite the betrayal, Macheso says he has pardoned Nyazanda and it was business as usual with the two’s chemistry improving with each project.
Macheso conceded there was a special ‘bond’ between him and Nyazanda, especially in the studio where the former is credited for creating own beats.
During live shows, Nyazanda has been giving fans a teaser of what to accept in the project, especially when he samples new song Kudzwai.
“I have always rated Nyazanda as one of the best we have at Orchestra Mberikwazvo, ruoko rwake nerwangu zvinopindirana.
“He believes in himself and that’s why we have him in our camp to this day. He has demonstrated what he is capable of and we will always take him as one of our own,” said Macheso.
The Orchestra Mberikwazvo boss said he had learnt to embrace Nyazanda’s personality and creativity.
“He has apologised when he came back begging saying he had reformed.
“We are happy that he is now focused on his job than ever and being one of the senior members of the group,” he said.
• ORCHESTRA MBERIKWAZVO MARRIAGE
The 39-year-old father of five said his “on-off” marriage with Macheso started in 2001 although he pledged his future to the band.
“When I joined him in 2001, we did quite a number of recording together and what makes me trust him most is that I would alternate on a number of songs with Macheso in the studio where he would play the lead guitar while he plays the bass.
“I contributed in of albums and some of the songs where I swapped the lead guitar for the bass include Murume, Tafadzwa, Kudzima Moto Nepeturo among other songs.
“I think that’s when the chemistry began because he trusted me among other band members and it feels good pleasing the boss, zvitori nechirevo izvozvo,” said the media-shy instrumentalist.
• OTHER BANDS
Despite creating a name for himself at Orchestra Mberikwazvo, the Banket bred singer’s journey wasn’t rosy.
“I started fell in love with music when I was in grade three but life changed when the late Mindias Dambaza took me to Harare where I joined Zebra Express around 1994.
“I worked with Dambaza for three or so months before he relocated to Kadoma since he had no place to stay in the capital,” he said.
• NGWENYA BROTHERS STINT
After being left in the cold by Dambaza, Nyazanda said he was rescued by Tedius Matsito who took him on board.
“I was only rescued by mukoma Tedius Matsota, even though I started off as part of his reserve team called Ngwena Young Brothers.
“I later graduated and made it into the first team where I helped him record a number of albums like Muzita Rashe, Ndinokutendai when Matsito and his brother Mike split.
“Since I was not yet settled, I teamed up with other members of the reserves to record an album.
“At that time, we were led by Livison Chakanyuka but I left the group when I decided that we were going nowhere.”
• BARURA EXPRESS
Determined to move on, Nyazanda said he went on to join Barura Express after the death of Leonard Dembo.
Then, the group was led by bass guitarist Shepherd Ackim (late) while drummer Kidson Madzorera (late), Knowledge Nkoma (now with Orchestra Dendera Kings) and Nyazanda made part of the new look Barura Express.
“I once worked with Barura Express after Innocent Mjintu had left to form his group.
“During the same period, I worked with a number of groups as a session musician but it was not rose.”
• ZHAKATA STINT
Owing to his talent, Nyazanda found himself playing for Zhakata’s Zimbabwe All Stars as a bass guitarist.
“I was also lucky that I managed to win Zhakata’s faith who took me on board.
“I managed to record a number of albums with Zhakata like Bhora Rembabvu, Pakuyambuka. Prior to that, I had recorded some albums with Somandla Ndebele and he would pay me after my service.
“But I should say it was Zhakata who made me realise my worth when it comes to style and professionalism.’
“I only joined Macheso when I was already refined and It was a good move I made since I also created a vacant for others at Zhakata.
“Right now I am happy at Macheso even though I let him down on two occasion”.
• UNSUNG HEROES’ STATUS
Despite all the achievements where all the credit tend to go to the band leader, Nyazanda feels it’s a matter of time individuals be recognized.
“I feel as instrumentalists we deserve to be rewarded because there is a lot of things that happens behind the scenes.
“For instance, Lucky Mumriki whom I once worked with did a lot in his career but he doesn’t have any accolade to show for it.
“We hope those who organise such awards will also reward individuals like us,” he said.
• BRIEF PROFILE
To those who might want to know who Noel Nyazanda is, below is his brief profile.
“I was born 39 years ago in a family of eight – five boys and three girls.
“Some of my siblings now late and I am now a father of five.
“I did my primary education in Banket and we used to stay at Ngwarai Farm.
“I dropped out of school when I was in form two to pursue music since music was my first love.”
While most artistes are usually looked down upon, Nyazanda said he was proud of his achievements.
“I am a landlord and currently I’m developing another residential stand here in Chitungwiza.
“I have got my own car and I can’t complain about life because I have something to show for what I achieved through music.
“I don’t regret the career path which I took and I will continue doing my best for my family and band.”