Zimbabwe: Sungura War - Master Vs Student

Are those promoting Sungura king, Alick Macheso, feeling the heat generated by youngsters following in his footsteps?

This was the question left in the minds of many fans after a young sungura artist, Romeo Gasa's performance was abruptly cut short at the recently-held Unity Gala in Gokwe.

There are allegations that an official in Macheso's management threw spanners in the works of the young artist just as he got onto the stage to perform.

Gasa only managed to perform one song at the gala, much to the chagrin of the fans that had already started enjoying his presence on stage.

The Sungura Kompressor hitmaker is known to reproduce almost all the guitar antics that have made Macheso the master of the bass guitar, including playing it with the feet and forehead.

Gasa told StandardLife&Style that he was a bitter man after leaving the stage early.

He said he received reports that Macheso's assistant manager, Jethro Machanja, was behind his premature ejection from the stage.

"I was told that Machanja convinced time keepers to cut short my session, which is really disturbing," said Gasa.

He said on several occasions, the Macheso camp had called him a copycat.

"Recently, his chanter, Jonas Kasamba told one newspaper that I am a copycat which I do not understand," he said.

A source close to the events said Macheso's management requested to perform early, saying they wanted to rush elsewhere.

"They told stage managers and time-keepers that they had another event to attend, though they went on to perform straight after Gasa," said the source.

He added that Machanja only came after Gasa started playing his "talking guitar".

However, Machanja refuted the claims, saying they arrived at the event later and saw Gasa's last seconds on stage.

"I arrived late and the only time I spoke to the guys from the information ministry was when I asked them about our slot," said Machanja.

He said there had been calls from their fans, who were asking them about the matter.

Young artists eager To prove greatness

Gasa and a few other guitarists have been on a mission to prove a point inasfar as playing the bass guitar is concerned.

Macheso is widely regarded as the best sungura bass guitarist around and all the youngsters consider him their yardstick.

Macheso is known to not take lightly artists who seem to copy his music, as evidenced by the song Murondatsimba.

Contacted for comment, Macheso referred all questions to Machanja.

"I was not even there when Gasa performed, so I think the best person to ask is Jethro [Machanja].

Organisers of the gala could not be reached for comment.

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