17 February 2019

Zimbabwe: Mbeu Eyes Global Market

Over the years Zimbabwean music has been finding it difficult to make it on the international music arena, save for a handful of artistes who appealed to a global audience.

The late team of mbira musicians Ephat Mujuru, Dumi and daughter Chiwoniso Maraire as well as Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo, among others, were the few that managed to achieve worldwide fame.

However, a new crop of young, energetic, ambitious and talented artistes has emerged and are casting their nets wider to reach the global audience.

Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Ammara Brown, Buffalo Soldier, King 98 and many others have managed to go beyond the borders doing collaborations with international acts.

It is against such a background that upcoming musician Ashton Tapiwa Nyahora, better known as Mbeu, has leapfrogged the global "boundaries" as he sets eyes on the worldwide market.

A product of Mtukudzi's Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Mbeu who fronts a youthful outfit Mhodzi Tribe, has turned out to be one of the most sought-after musicians in the country.

If his astounding performance at the recent Tuku memorial event in Johannesburg, South Africa, is anything to go by, then Mbeu is destined for big things.

Riding high with his latest offering, a 10-track sophomore project titled Hatikendenge, Mbeu's video of the song Mavanga off his Singles Collection is doing very well on Trace Africa. His latest video titled Nhimbe is doing exceptionally well on online platforms.

His manager Eugene Museredza told Standard Style that there were great things to come for the young musician.

"We will be entering into some strategic partnerships to be availed in due course," Museredza said.

"Yes, as for regional tours, something is cooking for March and end of April. For collaborations, we have finished on regional ones and we will be announcing it soon, it's from Uganda."

Museredza said locally, the artiste was having a busy schedule. On Friday night, the Mumwe Wangu hitmaker gave a scintillating performance alongside Jah Prayzah at a Valentine's Day gig that was held at Pakare Paye.

"On Saturday [February 23], we are having a gig with Selmor [Mtukudzi] at Bar Rouge and because of the small venue, it will be pre-booking before we start our nationwide tour with various artistes," he said.

"On March 1 we will be in Beitbridge with Jah Prayzah and we are balancing with corporate events as well."

Meanwhile, Mbeu said there was no way he would leave his band to fill the gap left by his mentor Mtukudzi at the Black Spirits.

"What Tuku did was to school us and we are inspired by the legacy he left for us. His legacy is like a manual that you would read for your career to grow. My band is Mhodzi Tribe and it's solidly intact," Mbeu said.

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