25 April 2007

Zimbabwe: Pair Takes After Mom, Tastes Success in Music

Harare — USUALLY parents enjoy when their children take after them, especially where the calling involves art and culture.

When children do this, they keep the family name alive and their parents' pride glowing.

Daisy and Jane are the musician-cum-comedian Susan Chenjerai's daughters.

Susan made history when she partnered the late Safirio "Mukadota" Madzikatire in song when they released what could be some of Zimbabwe's greatest duets, Isaac Hauchandida, Ndatemwa Negogo and Dhali Iwe, among others.

She also partnered Mukadota when the two switched their act over to comedy as Mhuri yaVaMakore that became Mhuri yaVaMukadota succeeding another television serial, Chidudu, in which the two featured.

Maybe those who are conversant with television simply know her as Amai Rwizi, the only woman who could tame Mudhara Mukadota.

Daisy and Jane are two of Susan's daughters who tried to take the artistic root their mother took. They may not be very popular today but to people who follow music, Jane Chenjerai, is not a new name.

To those who have sharp memories, the name Daisy Chenjerai will surely knock on the doors of their memories.

At the height of the liberation war in the late 1970s when half of the country's population had been herded into protected villages or keeps in order to keep them away from helping the freedom fighters, Jane released her first song -- Usandimirire Pagedhi Unondirovesa Nababa.

It was a simple song composed by a girl who was staying in Mbare, a song that probably had not been inspired by the advent of protected villages but when villagers who were locked up heard it, it assumed a completely different meaning.

During those days, district assistants, who were very notorious for harassing innocent villagers, manned every protected village's gates.

When the song came out in 1976, the villagers used the song to mock the DAs whenever they conducted body searches every time the villagers returned from their daily chores outside the protected villages.

It's not clear whether Jane had any other songs besides the hit, which propelled her to a higher level and made her a shining example of what Mbare could offer.

Because Jane's song was released years before the creation of the Internet, her name and her song do not exist.

Some time in the 1980s, Jane's younger sister, Daisy, emerged from the woodworks to follow her mother's footsteps. She released the song Zai Regondo, a fairly tale story about a mother expressing her love for an only daughter.

Her song was boosted by a production of a video that received favourable airplay on the television programme Mvengemvenge (now Mutinhimira Wemimanzi/ Ezomgido).

But unlike their mother who hit the entertainment road in 1952 and stayed on till 1984, the siblings gave up after very successful songs.

Despite the silence, there is no doubt that Daisy and Jane are a source of pride to their parents because their efforts spawned great results.

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