Life & Arts

System Tazvida’s widow bares soul

ITS now 22 years since music legend System Tazvida died but the pain remains fresh for his widow Barbara Mabuyaye-Tazvida. The Smoko music star passed away on February 4, 1999 at the age of 31 when he was at the pinnacle of his career.
Since then, his music has remained very relevant in Zimbabwean entertainment circles due to his rich lyrics and the subjects he tackled. Despite System’s huge popularity till this day, Barbara is still deeply hurt by the “unfounded and
false” allegations that continue to follow her more than two decades after her husband’s death.

“It has been so hard for me surviving in the absence of my husband. What pains me most is what people say about me — both on social media and traditional media.

“Zimbabweans at times can be very ruthless. When one is down and in need of help, that is the time when some people love to inflict the already inflicted people. “I was not given adequate room to mourn my husband as naysayers were accusing me of killing the Tazvida brothers— System and Peter— of which they are all lies,”
Barbara said.

The rumour mill had it that she dated Peter soon after System’s death, a development that she dismissed as unfounded.

“Up to now, I am not comfortable to use the social media. Some people mistake me with Dzvuke, who was mentioned in some of System’s songs. As a result, some social media users tend to attack me for no apparent reason,” she said.

Over the years, Barbara had been surviving through royalty payments and music sales from her late husband’s wide catalogue. However, piracy and the recent Covid-19 pandemic have meant that those revenue streams have dried up forcing Barbara to find other avenues to put food on the table.

“I am into business of selling perfumes and handbags for a living. Music royalties are no longer coming due the effects of piracy in the arts sector,” she said.

Over the years, the Tazvida family including System’s younger brother Isaac and cousin King would hold tribute concerts every time around February 4.

But with Covid-19 restrictions currently in place, it is not possible to host a gig in honour of the Anodyiwa Haataure hitmaker. Born Fanuel Tazvida in 1968 in Zaka area of Masvingo, he was given the moniker “System” while at school owing to his excessive love for music as well as his unique and melodious voice.

System began his musical career in 1986 when he joined groups like Spiders and U.B.S before joining the Khiama Boys led by Nicholas Zacharia. He made his name when he provided lead vocals on hit Mabhauwa, a song penned by Cephas Karushanga while at Khiama Boys.

Before forming the Chazezesa Challengers, System worked with other bands such as Mabhauwa Express led by Karushanga, and Sungura Boys of Ephraim Joe. In 1992, System formed a musical group called Magumo Challengers which was later transformed into Chazezesa Challengers.

He released a number of hit albums including Rudo Tsika Nemagariro in1993, Rwendo Rweupenyu in 1994, Mutunhu Une Mago, Wadenha Mago, Watosvorwa and Huni Nyoro Mumoto in 1998.

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