The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Chimbetus Relive Chopper's Life

Photo: Herald
DENDERA musician Tryson Chimbetu on stage.

Chinhoyi Bureau — Befitting aptly describes the seventh anniversary festivities at Chinhoyi's Orange Grove Motel dubbed "Dendera Bash" to celebrate the life of legendary dendera exponent Simon Chimbetu.

Marked by music, dance and merrymaking by both the fans and musicians who included the Chimbetu lineage - Suluman, Allan and Douglas - the day had a force of its own as it ironically spilled into the exact date Simon breathed his last - August 14, 2005.

First to warm the stage were urban grooves artistes Cindy Munyavi, Shinso Man and sons of another music legend, the Chibadura Brothers, before the force behind the dendera music brand revival and preservation took to the stage.

At around 9pm the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu arrived for the bash, which attracted people from as far as Harare, Chegutu and Karoi among others in a demonstration of how big Simon was and still is years after his death.

Songs such as "Ndarangirira Gamba" and "Pane Asipo" carried the day as fans could not help noticing how the artistes gelled to keep the dendera spirit alive.

An exhibition of Simon's photos and file footage also played a part in highlighting how Simon, fondly known as "Chopper", is greatly missed.

Simon's death and later interment at the Chinhoyi Heroes Acre is full of ironies as it reflected the person and the journey he walked through the liberation struggle and after independence when he sought to remind people of the importance of the sacrifice.

Minister Shamu, who was also swept away by the performance, could not help getting down to the dendera vibes. He expressed his joy to be part of the event.

However, despite the merrymaking that characterised the event, it was sad to note that Tryson snubbed the family bash citing work commitments.

The young crooner was quoted in the media last week as saying he would not be part of the family event because the invitation was at short notice.

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