The Herald (Harare)

11 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Dendera Fans in for a Treat - As Chimbetus Unite for Tuku's Birthday Bash

Often dendera music lovers have been divided over who they should follow or listen to in the wake of several outfits all led by Chimbetu family members.

This has to some extent caused confusion and feuding with the Chimbetus who are known to be the custodians of the dendera genre.

Oddly enough, all the Chimbetus sing the same songs and perform the same dance routines on stage. But, for once, the Chimbetus are set to come together and perform as one group.

This would be a rare treat for their legion of fans who have been asking whether or not prospects of uniting the family in song and dance were attainable.

The Chimbetus - Allan, Suluman, Tryson and lately Douglas - have agreed in principle to perform for the first time as one group which organisers have dubbed "Dendera United".

The "Dendera United" will come together at Oliver Mtukudzi's 60th birthday bash slated for September 21 at the Andy Millar Hall.

Allan, who recently left his group, the Orchestra Dendera Kings (Central Committee), to join Suluman's Orchestra Dendera Kings, will be leading others in song and dance.

His son, Douglas, will be there to back his father while Tryson will temporarily leave his group to join the other Chimbetus on stage.

But this is by no means a competition but a way to get the family together and show that in music they are one although they perform as different groups.

Josh Hozheri, one of the organisers of the show, said the Chimbetus will come together to honour Tuku.

"Yes, it is not everyday that you see such a show but as organisers we found it worthwhile to unite the family at such an occasion.

"Tuku is friends with the Chimbetus this is why he did a rendition of 'Ndiroore' by the late Simon Chimbetu. Dendera United, as we have called it, will be there as a group so that fans can enjoy the best in dendera music," he said.

No doubt this will be one of the many highlights at the gig that also features the likes of South Africa's Ringo Madlingozi, Dorothy "Auntie Dot" Masuka and veteran saxophonist Steve Dyer.

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