THE worldwide coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown has rekindled former band leader of Hohodza, Portia Gwanzura’s love and passion for music.
Gwanzura left Zimbabwe in early 2002 having released more than 10 music albums and is now based in the UK in Greater Manchester where she has been running several businesses.
“When I arrived here I carried on doing music until 2006 after which I ran a very big and successful multi-cultural pub for four years which was well received by the British people as it was the first of its kind in this area. But I closed it down and then opened a car sales business just like I did in Zimbabwe.
“But I have now decided to take a back seat in order to professionally re-launch my musical career. I’ve always wanted to go back into singing but was too busy here running my business until we shut down because of the Covid -19. So in a way the Covid -19 made it easier for me to go back to doing what I love most which is music,” Gwanzura told Daily News.
The singer said she is in touch with most Zimbabweans musicians there. “Most band members who left other big groups when they toured the UK are all around here and we’re always in touch.”
Gwanzura said most of her band members live around her. “We’re still one big happy family. My music is still the same although I did one English cover by Don Williams for Charity at the start of the pandemic.
“My band members have good jobs and it’s very easy to get a job because there’re so many opportunities in this country. When we came here the first thing I did was to encourage all band members to get a job because music is seasonal in this country. So I helped everyone to get a job, a house and when they got settled that’s when we started performing.”
She added that several of her band members have their own recording studios including her son Robgee. “But the one I use most is owned by Enock Kamhiriri who is an original member of my band. Because I’ve only just started doing the music again I am still to sort out publishing. But I have quite a number of videos on YouTube.”
And she is still in touch with guitarist Progress Chipfumo who he worked with at Hohodza while in Zimbabwe.
“When Chipfumo came to tour the UK I invited him to my house and he spent a night here with his friends. We had a good catch-up and I took him out for a drink. When he went back to Zimbabwe I promised him I’ll do my best to organise another tour for him.
“To honour my word I made arrangements for his tour and contacted him a few times. I asked him to send me certain information required to do with the tour but unfortunately he did not get back to me in time because he was busy launching one of his albums.
“I really wanted to do it because it would have been easy because he only needed to come with a couple of people as most of his ex-band members are all here and they were going to tour with him.”
The singer urged her fans to go and subscribe to her YouTube channel for all latest updates: Portia Gwanzura & Hohodza Band and on Facebook…..follow me on : Portia Gwanzura & Hohodza Band fanclub page. …