HARARE – Controvesial artiste Last “Tambaoga” Chiangwa, 46, whose land reform jingles Rambai Makashinga and Sendekera clogged Zimbabwean radio and television stations in the run-up to the 2002 elections, is a bitter man.
After a rare performance at the City Sports Bar on Monday night, Tambaoga told the Daily News that he “never accrued any meaningful financial benefits” from the massive airplay of the Third Chimurenga jingles he composed.
“As much as I appreciate that it was and is my role as a patriotic cadre to render support to government initiatives and programmes such as land reform, I have got this feeling that I was exploited somehow if not duped of a lot of money by the government then.
“I did not get what I deserved from my music especially the songs Rambai Makashinga and Agirimende because the tracks were overplayed on radio stations,” he told the Daily News.
He added that many Zimbabweans mistakenly believe that he was rewarded well by the government for his role in popularising the land reform which was a critical government programme.
“I know the majority of Zimbabweans believe that I realised a lot of money from the popular jingles and songs but the truth is that I only got less that $200 from that project.
“The money I got from Rambai Makashinga project was not even enough to send my two children to school. It was not just enough and for that reason I urge the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to respect and take artistes’ work seriously,” said Tambaoga, who could not be drawn into revealing who gave him the $200.
Tambaoga insisted during the interview with the Daily News that people should not misconstrue him for a politician because of the messages in his Third Chimurenga jingles and songs.
“When I released songs such as Rambai Makashinga and Agirimende, I never meant to make enemies but I later realised that I had made a lot of enemies and few friends in the country.
“People fail to realise that musicians are just message conveyers or simply messengers,” he said.
Tambaoga is not the only artiste who felt hard done by the government of former president Robert Mugabe.
Recently, Mutare-based sungura artiste Hosiah Chipanga told the Daily News that he regrets composing the song Gushungo in 2006 a song in which he absolved Mugabe of graft.
“I released the song as part of a strategy to get an opportunity to meet the president. I had hoped that the song would make the people around him allow me to meet the president so that I could give him clues on good governance.
“Sadly, my strategy did not work. I thought he would invite me to his office after listening to the song but that never happened. Instead, I was attacked repeatedly by some people who thought I should not have sung the song in the first place . . . what these people didn’t realise was the fact that I got nothing from Mugabe . . . not even chipeneti chaicho, (safety pin)” said the Kwachu Kwachu singer.