…the noteworthy (but not included.)
A random collection of artists who don’t fit the mould of this site, yet still deserve a mention. Listed alphabetically. (This page will be forever under construction as I continually add new and old musicians alike.)
A guitarist in Mapfumo’s Blacks Unlimited, Tobias Areketa appeared on his albums throughout the 80s, including 1986’s Mr. Music. He was especially known for Mapfumo’s reggae song Mugarandega. He eventually left the band for a solo career, producing the hit songs Trouble, Uya Iwe, and an album, Baba naAmai. Tobias died in the mid 90s under sketchy circumstances, just as his star began to shine brightest.
An alumnus of the Mother Band, the New Mother Band, the Mverechena Band, and the musician-factory known as the Khiama Boys. Tinyei got his start alongside Marshall Munhumumwe in the Mverechena Band, releasing their first single, Kapfumo Kandibaya, in 1976. Munhumumwe eventually left, poaching three other members to form the Four Brothers. Tineyi went on to play in numerous bands and produce hits such as Hama Dzapera and Gore Rino with the New Mother Band.
Ashton Chiweshe was recruited as a member of the Acid Band while Thomas Mapfumo was incarcerated by Rhodesia authorities and Jonah Sithole was in charge. His on and off relationship with the band lasted two decades, as his influential chimurenga and rock hybrid guitar sounds influenced such pinnacular albums as Corruption,Chamunorwha, and Vanhu Vatema. Chiweshe was eventually booted for his falmboyant playing style – Mapfumo was not fond of a showman. Chiweshe eventually formed his own band, the Batonga Crew. He died form complications of diabetes in 1999. Ashton Chiweshe music clips (rm): -1- -2- -3-
Leonard was a founding member of Mapfumo’s Acid and Blacks Unlimited bands alongside such notable Zimbabwe guitar legends as Ashton Chiweshe, Jonah Sithole, and Joshua Dube. Along with other such notables, he helped shape and define the chimurenga sound. Leonard Chiyangwa eventually parted for a solo career. His songWapunza Musha is featured on the Jit soundtrack.
Joshua Dube is one of the many influential guitarists to have graced the stage in Thomas Mapfumo’s chimurenga bands. Another founding member of the Blacks Unlimited, he played a large part in forging the chimurenga sound. He eventually left the Mapfumo circle to play with his younger brother, Jonah Moyo, the leader ofDevera Ngwena Jazz Band.
The Great Sounds were a seven piece band prominent during the 1970s. The group was arguably the first Black Zimbabwean guitar band to release a hit single when they released Anopenga Ane Waya in 1971. The Great Sounds went on to score a number of other htis during the 70s, becoming the first Zim band to sell rhumbasuccessfully.
Guitarist and singer of the late 70s and early 80s. Known for his 1980 hit Voodoo, he began in soul/funk, turning to jazz in the Eighties, and eventually to gospel in the new millennium.
Patrick Mkwamba has been a lead vocalist with his band the Four Seasons. He has also appearaed and recorded extensively with the Four Brothers. His songs appear on compilations such as Viva Zimbabwe!, Early Hits of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Frontline Vol 1, and Zimbabwe Frontline Vol 2. Mkwamba was also a member of the Hallelujah Chiken Run band alongside Thomas Mapfumo in the mid-70s.
One of the legendary bands of Zimbabwean music, the reggae group the Pied Pipers have existed in one form or another since the 70s and have provided a trainingground for some of Zimbabwe’s best musicians. Lead vocalists have included such names as Thomas Mapfumo, Susan Mapfumo, Doreen Mcumbe, John Mtumwa and Gideon Neganje, while legendary guitarist Jonah Sithole also played with the band for a time in the late Eighties. Brian Rusike also joined for a time on drums. While the band focuses on cover material, I’m A Country Boy is an original song about black life in Rhodesia, while Amayo is one of their albums of original music. The group turned to reggae music in 1982.
Comprised of siblings from the Muparutsa family, the RUNN Family had a number of hits in the 1980s. Lead singer and bassist Peter Muparutsa has continued to work in the music industry – as a studio musician (Virginia Mukwesha) as a recording engineer (Oliver Mtukudzi) and a producer (Leonard Zhakata, Stella Chiweshe.) He is also a member of the board of the Shape Zimbabwe Trust, which promotes health and the prevention of HIV/AIDS. His brother, Fortune, is also a producer, who specializes in RnB and Ragga (Roy and Royce, Prince Mafukidze, Mateo, Shame and Nathan) and owns his own Fortune Studios. Listen to Hatechina Wekutamba Naye.
Shaka was a group consisting of Louis Mhlanga, Fred Zindi, and Joy Welsh, among others which released a few albums in the 80s, including 1985’s Train of Freedom. Louis eventually went on to have a successful production career with many groups and has turned this into a successful solo career. Fred authored Roots Rocking In Zimbabwe, one of the first accoutns of the development of music and the music industry in Zimbabwe. He went on to teach at the University of Zimbabwe.