Tendai Dembo speaks out
26 January 2018
. . . media caused rift with Morgan
. . . I love my brother
BARURA Express frontman Tendai Dembo says he won hearts of fans due to consistency, patience and optimism imparted on him by his late father Leonard ‘Musorowenyoka’ Dembo.
Tendai, who is now working on his third offering, told H-Metro he is now proud to express himself freely after his eight-year reign.
The youthful vocalist and guitarist’s effort Enia was even voted number nine in last year’s Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 charts whilst his brother’s Jackot was on position 22.
It is his tiff with Morgan that has been a talking point around the circles but he (Tendai) feels he is now closer to his brother than when the two used to work together.
“I think it’s about time I really open up on the real issue with my brother Morgan, somehow I blame reports from the media for causing tension that never existed.
“Every family has its squabbles and mine with my big brother was on maintaining our father’s legacy. In my case, I play the guitar and do vocals and that’s the same thing I wished for my brother but that failed.
“I wanted him to play the guitar not for anyone else but to share the stage with me.
“As people read the reports from news sources, they thought we could not see eye to eye but that’s not the case, we stay in the same house, what I eat is what he eats, we share clothes and his children are mine.
“The only differences we had were small and I still have Barura Express and he uses the name Outsiders Band but that doesn’t mean he can’t use the Barura band,” said Tendai.
He said he consults his brother on every song.
“Morgan is not doing shows at the moment but I always consult him on every aspect of my music, on the new album I am working on he has helped me with some of the lyrics.
“Each time I go out to shows and come back ,I make it a point to share everything with him and of course use some of it to look after our mother and keep the legacy,” he said.
The musician also revealed that he once considered creating his own sound but would only later discover himself still on his father’s path playing Barura sound.
“Zvandaida inini zvakutoita kunge zvisina basa, I had set a few goals for myself and my fathers’ musical influence proved me wrong, its somehing that came as I was growing.
“No matter how much I planned zvandiri zvandichava mangwana zvakanyorwa pasi naMwari so its pointless to plan anything at all.
“I think when my father looks at me now he is proud of me and how we are keeping his legacy alive,” he said.
Asked on what the family has done to preserve his their father’s legacy, Tendai said:
“Our father left a house in Belvedere, Chitungwiza, stands which we are now building, cars and instruments which later became dysfunctional.
“There was no tsvimbo or anything traditional as what most people believe he would have done.”
He also said his father was the most talented lyricist and all his songs were purely out of his imagination and not from any spirit.
“I don’t think my father was even close to being a medium, I can’t really say vaiva svikiro korosvika richienda, the depth of his lyrics was only out his passion and vast imagination.
Tendai has described his secret to success as an opening centered on his fans.
“The secret is not about how good you are, it’s about whether people give you the chance to listen to you and lucky me I am getting that kind of chance.
“Numbers have been increasing at my live shows and I am happy to be performing in front of a packed auditorium and listening to them demanding some of the songs,” he said.
He said he is slowly becoming a household name.
“In as much as my music is my business, I have been able to express myself in front of my followers who when they grew up they never knew there was Tendai Dembo,” he said.
The musician described 2017 as his best year so far.
“2017 was a great year for me because I managed to make a difference, I made it onto the local Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 chats at number nine.
“I also for the first time toured South Africa, Mozambique and DRC with the whole band and already getting similar calls to go back and perform in the same countries and others,” he said.
The young crooner also revealed he is working on his third offering.
I have three albums in my name of which the first was with my brother Morgan working on third album and hopefully by March it will be ready,” he said.
THE BAND’S SURVIVAL
One of Tendai’s achievements ever since taking the reins from his father would be keeping the band together considering no one has deserted the inexperienced singer from day one.
It’s been eight years and the musician says he has an understanding with his band members.
“For its worth, I have managed to keep the Barura Express band intact for the past eight years and this has been my greatest strength to keep the Dembo legacy alive.
“Every minute, every day, every year has been worth it and now I have made a mark it’s different, I can do what I want to do with the band,” he reiterated.
He has also attributed his rise to Macheso and many other artistes who nurtured him.
“Some say we lost our best guitarist Devine to Machseo’s camp when somehow I felt liberated by his departure, Macheso gave me my second inheritance when he took me under his arm and taught me to walk alone in the industry.
“That man empowered me, he gave me my second inheritance that no man will ever give me, he might have taken our best but that doesn’t equate to what I got from him,” he said.
He doesn’t deny facing challenges with the band.
“It’s really hard to maintain a band and always keep its members a peace because there is a lot involved, they need live shows, rehearsals, they need to be paid and kept happy.
“I assembled the band under Macheso and got my first steps as a supporting act at Sulu, Jah Prayzah and Tuku’s shows, it wasn’t easy but I managed to be transparent with the guys.
“We used to have flops but did the best thing to tell the band that we didn’t get anything and whenever we got something I gave them their money and we had the spirit of brotherhood.
“We now trust each other and I can’t lose them because they are my biggest strength, ours is a marriage till death do us part,” he said.
Tendai says he has the best family and loves his mother, grandmother and siblings dearly.
He has also said he values family time.
“We are three in our family, myself, Morgan and my sister Felicia who is in South Africa.
“Morgan is the only one married while and my sister and i are not in any hurry to commit into marriage but that doesn’t mean we don’t have partners,” he said.
He said as part of his duties has to take care of his mother and grandmother.
Tendai has also warned members of the public from trying to break his family.
“I was saddened last year when certain individuals tried to score their goals through Gogo Dembo after they went and donated items to her rural homestead.
“It was a noble thing to do but I didn’t like how they handled their business. Gogo was left by her son in 1996 and how did they think she survived all these 22 years.
“They went and told her that Tendai and Morgan refused to come and gogo was angry with us because of her old age.
“Inini I am an artiste and they call me on a Friday whilst I am in Mutare to say tomorrow we are going to give gogo goodies, that’s wrong.
“Whenever gogo is sick we take her to private hospitals not to just any facility, kana vanhu vachida kuitira mbuya vangu chinhu ngavaite nemoyo waMwari.
“Vanhu vakuparadza mhuri yedu instead of building it, musashungurudza chembere idzi hapana asina mbuya. I am saying if people want to go in their numbers they can go but they should not use gogo Dembo for wrong reasons.
“Another thing musangoitira gogo Dembo chete kune vamwe vakawanda vakaita sagogo macheso, gogo Chihera mai vaTongai Moyo,” he said.