…Gets rave reviews on Facebook
GERMAN based Mutare born reggae and Afro fusion musician I-Finton whose real name is Finton Mumbure has received rave reviews from his Manicaland followers after a post on his Facebook page where he paid tribute to the late Fortune Muparutsa and Stobert Chidikano.
On his wall post for the video posted on Wednesday in which he strums his acoustic guitar singing the dedication song he says, “Respect to the lost souls Fortune Muparutsa and Stobert Chidikano.” The post (https://www.facebook.com/fmumbure/videos/10216669403547778/) since Wednesday now has over 670 views and 115 likes and nearly 20 comments all applauding him for remembering the yesteryear born and bred legends from Manicaland.
Muparutsa passed away on 25 October 2008 in the United Kingdom where he was now based, while Chidikano fell ill in 1999 and eventually passed on in 2001.
Whilst Mutare’s oldest ghetto is known mostly for its high crime rate and distasteful living conditions, the sprawling ghetto, which is densely populated, however, has an untold story to tell of its prolific contribution to the music and arts sector of Mutare and Zimbabwe at large.
From the 1970s, many celebrated musicians have come from the ghetto, but have often been forced to relocate to Harare and set in motion their musical careers.
We can talk of the 1970s Peter Muparutsa-led outfit, Runn Family that strummed songs that literally became national anthems like Ishe komborerai, Nhapi Tapi, Samora Waenda, Gumbo mumba-Gumbo kunze, Samora and Moyo Muti.
The younger brother to Peter, the late Fortune who had a stint with the Runn Family around 1986 but later pursued a brilliant solo career and produced a string of hit songs like ‘Ndiwe wangu’ (Kanda matombo) and ‘Kure kwaunoenda’ to mention a few. He was known as the Michael Jackson of the musically gifted Muparutsa family after breaking away to follow his vision and own style of RnB music which became a classical hit.
Fortune sadly passed in 2009 in the United Kingdom just after he had re-launched his musical career. However, from the success of the Runn Family, a lot of musical groups in Sakubva were stirred up in the early 1990s and among them, one notable group to rise to the occasion was the late Stobart Chidikano-led Assegai Crew outfit of the ‘Amaibhoyi’ (Kanyama karipi) fame which went viral countrywide.
Formed in 1991, Chidikano’s group had its unique fusion of ragga and Afro-pop called Ragga Manyika. Following the death of Chidikano, original group members like Brian Nyanhanga went on to form other outfits like Too Open currently based in Harare that still plays Ragga Manyika.
Assegai Crew also later re-grouped in 2010 under Silas Makumbe, a former original member, and is also currently based in Harare where they say there are more business opportunities to stay afloat in the hard-knock industry.
On the other hand, the budding Zimbabwean artiste I-Finton, born and bred in high density suburb of Dangamvura, formed his band Kalabash in 2016 based in Aachen, and has so far done two Extended Play projects ‘Get Ready’ and ‘Where I come from.’ The outfit hit a career high moment last year when their reggae single track ‘Missing You’ reached Number Two on Artistify Chats, an online voting platform for music artistes in Germany.
The 32-year old composer, guitarist and singer apart from making headlines in Germany has also toured France and Holland where he performed at different festivals. Last year in May, I-Finton initiated and organised the Bob Marley commemoration concert at Mutare Motoring Club. The tribute show only comprised of Mutare born artistes.
In an interview early this year I-Finton said Manicaland had produced musical geniuses like the Runn Family, Fortune, Stobert and Assegai Crew, renowned drummer Sam Mataure of Oliver Mtukudzi’s band to mention a few, but very few people in the province knew about this, which should change.
“We are going to be hosting the Bob Marley commemoration every year but I will be coming every other year, so this year I skipped and next year in May I will be a part of the concert. The aim is to give a platform for Manicaland artistes to showcase their talents and on the day celebrate our musical legends from the province. Last year the show had its glitches as we did not get all the artistes we wanted, but like anything that will be starting, it is bound to have its snags and next year we should be able to make the event bigger and better,” said I-Finton.