4 July 2018

Zimbabwe: Marerwa Breaks Two Decades of Silence

He was once a sound on every lip, appealing to both the young and elderly alike.

His early hit "Seke Mutema" was a household tune, thanks to vast airplay on ZBC TV, and of course none other than the great artiste Noel Tsungai Marerwa who cooked up a good enough song to rock many souls.

After 20 years in hibernation, a part of which was spent teaching in United Arab Emirates, Marerwa is back with an eight-track album titled "Itai Tiseke."

This time around he jams his afro-beat sound to a widely appealing gospel music, proving a master he is, breaking the barriers long wedged between genres.

His reasons for creatively fusing the genres was to bring back a dying music as well as express what lay in his heart.

"I respect other artistes but it is my observation that music with a Shona feel is dying as musicians pursue other genres like jazz and sungura which are not originally from Zimbabwe.

"I felt there was need to fill in the vacuum but most importantly music is a heritage to be kept -- for people who love Shona, this is for them," he said.

Some of the songs on the album are the title track "Itai Tiseke" "Chikomo Chinenhaka" and "Sorojena".

"Chikomo Chinenhaka' talks about working towards the attainment of good and finally waking up to it. It's about giving gratitude to God for having taken you to a destination you were striving for," said Marerwa.

To attain great quality, Marerwa worked with some of the band members he was with in producing "Seke Mutema" while recording with veteran producer Bothwell Nyamhondera.

"Nyamhondera is great to work with, very helpful. He is simply in a class of his own," he said.

His instrumentalists consists of Philip Tsikirai, Elliot Masimo, Owen Shamba, Dyson Misheck, Brian Nhanhanga and Baltimore Mudepa.

After years in hibernation, Marerwa said what drove him was a great zeal to share his talent.

"In coming with this album I wanted to please my fans who had long called on me to give them something new and also to vent out the loads and loads of music that is within me," he said.

If the album gets the reception he anticipates, Marerwa will be staying longer than planned in Zimbabwe to do live shows around the country.

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