SUNGURA musician Alick Macheso on Wednesday broke down when he sang the song Kudzwai during the commissioning of a classroom block he helped built at his former school, Enterprise Primary School in Shamva.
Our LIFESTYLE WRITER Blessing Masakadza spoke with him on the side-lines of the handover ceremony for him to explain a number of developments in his career.
Q. You almost cried singing the song Kudzwai, what is the reason behind that?
A. Even when I was recording the song, I could not contain my emotions and told the producers to switch off the machines. It was overwhelming for me, looking back at where I came from. This is because of what God has done for me. I grew up in Shamva and now I have travelled several places in Europe and the US because of music and this is all through God’s doing. I can’t stop thanking God for all that.
Q. What made you come up with the idea of giving back to the community?
A. For me to be here I was helped and I’m still being helped so I have to help others in any way I can. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes and I cannot be seen to be rushing to the press to announce that I have helped so and so. I believe this is not the way of doing things. Let your works talk and let God be the judge. Whatever we do, people see and in the process pray to God on your behalf.
Q. You always target the youth, what is the reason?
A. Children are the future and we as the older generation have to prepare for the next generation. This is the reason behind the construction of classroom block for the ECD. Seeing them learning under a tree was painful and I decided to approach my partners to help construct the block. I have brought my children here to see and learn from what I’m doing.
Q. From where you started and where you are now, can you say you have made it in music?
A. This has been a long journey with ups and downs but we have persevered. It is difficult to say because music is a journey and we are always on the road. It was not easy from my upbringing because our parents would not allow that. They saw it as a waste of time but look how it has turned out to be. For me to be on a plane, this is because of music.
Q. Do you think you’re the best?
A. Music is not a race where there is winner at the end of each competition. I’m always trying to improve from my last composition and last performance. It is a routine. One important thing is to try and not blow your own trumpet. It is never a good thing because there are many people doing what you’re doing and it is a matter of time before they reach and surpass what you will be doing.
Q. Are you angry with your parents for trying to stop you?
A. This is all God’s doing. My mother could not guess that I had such talent but this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She didn’t know what she carried for nine months would be at this stage. This is what I have learnt and implementing in my life. I have allowed my children to pursue their dreams. They approached me with the intention of getting into music and I have allowed them and I’m assisting them.
Q. What can you say to parents with children with interest in music?
A. Growing up I would get in trouble for this. I would be beaten but no one knew where this would take me. Music is life and if one wants to try, let them be and support them. I’m willing and open to supporting budding artistes.
Q. You have said a new album is coming in June, what can people expect?
A. Definitely in June we are dropping a new album and we have begun performing some of the songs. I cannot give the album name yet and will allow the people to come up with the name.
Q. Any possibility of another Ngaibake?
A. Ngaibake was an eye opener that music can cut across all generations. The other thing was to change narrative and show people that there can be message from Zimdancehall music. There is power in collaborations and musicians should learn from it. I will sit down with Freeman and see how we can possibly take it forward. The response was overwhelming that it shocked all of us.
Q. How has it benefitted you?
A. These days I can see the younger generation at my shows and this was the impact of Ngaibake and we play it at our events.
Q. You performed at Nama together with Ti Gonzi, Freeman, Ammara, Vabati VaJehova and it has been dubbed the best opening act in the country so far, what can you say about that?
A. This was something great and in line with the vision I have been moving with. I have been working with the youth and I have seen the benefits. I’m happy to see the youth combining with the older generation. We should all encourage collaboration, it works miracles and you saw what happened there.
Q. What can you say to other singers?
A. Clean lyrics are the way to go, something people can listen to in their homes, public transport and gatherings, kwete kuti vanhu vanomhanya kunodzora volume.
Q. Majuice won award at the Namas, what does it mean to you?
A. This shows that there are a lot of awards within us and it is a matter of time before we get them. This should be an encouragement to all the dancers in the country to keep pursuing their dreams for they will be recognised.
Q. Politics in the band, some may say you favour Majuice while some say Joe and others Nowero?
A. We work as a team and we complement each other and make each other great. Without the rest of the team no one will be noticed. We encourage unity and that is why we always do everything as a group. Team work is our core value.
Q. How is your relationship with other musicians?
A. My door is always open and a number of entertainers always visit me and I help them in any way I can.