Wednesday 14 September 2011

Aaron Chinamira’s unfulfilled dream

Two months after Aaron Chinamira’s death in 2008, his vocalist and drummer, Gilbert Manyama, brought me news of a commemorative album, Tangira Ipapo (Messengers).
Chinamira’s real surname was Chakanyuka but got the nickname Chinamira from the way he played his guitar. He was 38 when he died and was buried at his rural home in Sorti Source Village in Gutu communal lands.
Chinamira, who was one of many Zimbabwean musicians endowed with talent but because of other factors fail to rise, led the group Ndendende Express.
Together with Innocent Zinyuke, Gainmore Kafura, Simbarashe Mutombeni, Petros Kabasa and Walton Mukombwe, Gilbert Manyame had dreams of continuing from where Aaron Chinamira had left.
Chinamira died at his home in Gutu after a long illness.
‘We want to remember Mukoma Aaron with the album,’ Manyame said.
He further said that was assisted by Alick Macheso and promoter God Ngandu who provided the group with transport.
          Manyame joined Ndendende Express in 2003 and had shows in Gutu, Bikita and Nyika.
          Before joining Chinamira, he had played with Simon Chiduza, now in Katima Mulilo, and Bishop Olla Juru.
          Some of the songs on the album are Mazuva Ari Kufamba, Munhu Anokupandukira and Ndishongedzeyi.
          But these guys’ dream and wish to keep alive Aaron Chinamira’s name and legacy were shattered when there was a quarrel over ownership of the band.
          Although Chinamira's career dates back to the early 1990s and despite working with the late Tazvidas - System and Peter - as well as playing with the Spiders, he was never lucky to hog fame and limelight.
          Chinamira was born in the Nyanyadzi area of Gutu in Masvingo on May 26 1970. He attended primary schools in the area and then in Sanyati.
          In 1991, he joined the Spiders Band, the band that launched the late great Leonard Dembo’s career, before making a brief stopover at the Chazezesa Challengers in 1993. Later, he parted ways with the Tazvidas to form his own group Dendende Express.
          The group released its debut single Chidadiso whose flip side was Mahindekinde in 1996.
          In 1998, Chinamira released his debut album Chinamira that earned him the name. Sengajira (1999); Chaputika (2000); Zvine Ngozi (2001); Chisimbiso (2002) and Boorangoma (2003).
          Like many other musicians who have found themselves being pushed to the edge, Chinamira failed to stand his own ground against the likes of Alick Macheso and a whole new crop of bright young artistes.


Darlington Tendai Majonga said...

I also remember dancing all night, humming "chinamira", as Aaron strummed his guitar at Madzeka, owned by the late Charles Bvunzawabaya, in 1996. Those were the days, with Sytem tazvida also hot. There is another guy called 'Special Meat'. I think I saw him start in Mutoko too. You might want to do something on him.

Anonymous said...

Aaron haana kumboimba na Shadreck Mashinyira here we Masvingo Stars? Pane song ya Mashinyira inonzi Dai wandinzwawo ine voice ra Aaron

Anonymous said...

Genius guitarist Aaron RIP