The Herald (Harare)

21 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Sean Timba Demystified

Suluman Chimbetu seems shocked by the popularity of his hit song "Sean Timba," that he is now battling, at each occasion, to explain the persona behind the title of the song. He appears unsettled by the popularity of the song that has been interpreted differently by all and sundry.

The more Sulu has attempted to explain the song, the more he shows signs of being unsure of what he means.

In an exclusive interview with Herald Entertainment, Sulu "revealed" that Sean Timba was a four-year-old, residing in either Glen Norah or Highfield.

"I was staging a show at Extra Mile in 2010 when a two-year-old boy disappeared. His mother came to me and said she was looking for the boy, Sean Timba.

"It sunk into me and that is how I came up with the title Sean Timba," he claimed.

The dendera heir said the name kept on ringing in his mind when he was writing the song.

"I could have said Takawira Dapi or Problem Masau, but it doesn't rhyme. Sean Timba rhymed with the lines and I used it," he said.

Sulu said he is hoping to meet the child.

"I do not know where the child is now, but I hope one day I will meet him," he said.

The musician said he hoped this could put a lid on theories thrown into the air by different people.

"Because of its popularity, the song has generated much interest and people want to pay detail to every line in it," he said.

Soon after the release of the song he initially said "Sean Timba" could be anyone who was pirating music.

This set the tongues wagging with spin doctors suggesting that Sean Timba was a renowned pirate living in Mbare.

While performing before journalists at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority cocktail party at the Rainbow Towers on January 16, Sulu stopped halfway through and explained to the media that the song was about piracy.

"Many people say the song is about violence. No! It's about piracy," he said.

What is evident is that many people are convinced that Sean Timba really exists because it's very rare for musicians to coin names of people that do not exist in their lifetime.

When Alick Macheso released the hit song Tafadzwa, no one ever suspected that the song had been coined for a girlfriend. It later dawned on people that Macheso's "Tafadzwa" was his girlfriend who later become his second wife.

In the late Tongai Moyo's song, "Zvinoita Murudo", he used all his children's names and that of his late wife, Barbra Muchengeti when he penned the song.

The same can be said for Oliver's Mtukudzi's song "Daisy", which is the name of his wife.

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