HARARE – The history of sungura music cannot be documented fully without mentioning the name Shepherd Chinyani, but the artiste feels the industry he contributed so much to short-changed him and described it as a “thankless venture”.
Joining local showbiz at a tender age, Chinyani discovered and groomed talents in legends such as John Chibadura, Alick Macheso, R and K African Sounds, Bothwell Butau and Obvious Mutani among others but has nothing to show for it save for his rich musical legacy and a core house in Harare’s Dzivaresekwa suburb.
Chinyani told the Daily News at City Sports Bar’s Monday Jam Session that despite his immense contribution towards the development of local sungura music, he has nothing.
“I did not only teach the likes of Macheso and Chibadura how to play guitars but I stayed with them at my Dzivaresekwa house as my children despite the fact that we were not related,” he said.
The seasoned guitarist now finds solace in the conviction that he was commissioned by God to help others.
“Chibadura had promised to help me one way or the other but sadly he passed away before fulfilling the promises.
“For Macheso, I think he is too busy as he last stepped his foot in my house in 2008 just before the release of his debut album Magariro,” said Chinyani.
Apart from helping individual artistes to stardom, Chinyani is bitter that his efforts are not being recognised by national arts organisations.
“I have never received a single award in my entire life, even life achievement gongs. I was the pioneer of sungura music in the country but recognition is being given towards others who came well after me,” he said.
At City Sports Bar, Chinyani shared the stage with one-hit wonder Joseph Garakara of Idya Banana fame, Utakataka Express Congolese chanter Gift Katulika aka Shiga Shiga and Nyasha Mugari among others.
Garakara took fans down memory lane when he belted Idya Banana, while Shiga Shiga entertained fans with songs from his only album Two Years Later.