Zimbabwe: Chief Jay Samanyanga Hits the Right Note

There are times when music sweeps you off your feet. There is a time when music really gets under your skin. Then you feel it. And, then, you become part of it.

That is musician, not organised noise. Music!

Thereafter, wherever you are, you find yourself singing alone. Soon you find yourself playing it and singing along. Such is the power of music. Soothing. Healing!

Am by and large a Chimurenga Music fan and I have never hidden this fact to anyone. So, it is a rarity for me to play Jazz, not only once but again and again, and again and again. So, the song that I play again and again, outside the Chimurenga genre must be a really good song by my own standards, for, I trust my ears. My ears have a good tsate for well arranged music.

Recently, I found myself listening to the music of largely unknown musician. It started when I was driving and listening to radio. I have this habit of changing channels to get the feel of the heart of the events, issues and music trending in the country.

I bumped into a song on Covid-19 almost across the radio divide and soon it captured my imagination. It was not an advert but a simple and well-arranged and powerful song, by Justice Chimutove Chisunga aka Chief Jay Samanyanga from Chinhoyi.

I had never heard of this name but what captured me was the vocal clarity, the instrumentation, intonation and the total arrangement. It is solid. Rock solid.

I then hooked up with the Chinhoyi-based musician and found out he has some few more, good songs that would have made it big time had they been promoted then he narrated his story.

"I started doing choral music in the 1980s then became a choir master in the early 1990s.

But it is in 2013 that I started recording gospel music then found that my strength and talent were with Jazz in 2016.

"I recorded my first album DNA in 2019 but my biggest break through has been with this Covid-19 song titled Hosha, which has made it big time on radio and TV," he said.

The other thing that captured me is that the song Hosha in affable Korekore dialect as well as in English and yet the mixture of the two languages does not make the song moribund. It actually makes it more interesting and appealing.

His band, the Black Elephants, seems to have matured into a force to reckon with and the people of Chinhoyi are up for a real musical treat, should Covid-19 restrictions be removed and shows allowed.

Chief Jay Samanyanga says he owes his success to his wife Kethani Donga and his five children Wesley, Wayne, Welsh, Winnie and Kendrick, who have stood by him as he establishes his music career.

"I owe it to my wife and kids, and also to the Black Elephants.

"I also owe it to the people of Chinhoyi. If we remain united, we will conquer the world with music," he says.

More From: The Herald

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