BY WINSTONE ANTONIO FOR 17 years, it appears no one has dared to fit into the “big shoes” of the late prolific singer Paul Matavire who died in 2005, aged 44.
Matavire was a music genius, a satirical king and a storyteller of note who could effortlessly tread between societal issues and taboos.
His lyrical prowess was unparalleled. He could tackle serious issues such as sexual abuse at workplaces in a humorous way like in the song Tanga Wandida.
Matavire could easily create a sombre atmosphere through hard-hitting soulful music like in the song Ndinobvuma. He also had a rare gift of being philosophical like in the song Adam na Eva.
After Matavire’s death, it appeared as if he had died with his music as there was “no one” to keep the legacy alive unlike other musicians of his time such as Leonard Dembo and Simon Chimbetu, who have had their offspring take over.
While an attempt at mimicking this music legend could probably be committing career suicide, interestingly, rising singer and former Jairos Jiri Band member Knowledge Mbavara has come out of the shell in an effort to rejuvenate the Matavire’s style.
Thirty-two-year-old Mbavara’s attempt to fit in the shoes of Matavire, who defied visual impairment to conquer the showbiz scene after transforming the Jairos Jiri Band into a professional group, might be costly.
Given that Mbavara’s voice bears a stricking resemblance to that of Matavire probably that will do the magic for him, only time will tell.
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Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, the Highfield-based budding singer admited that although it would not be easy to fill the void left by Matavire, he was, however, determined to revive his legacy.
“I am confident that Matavire’s legacy is in the safe hands of Hot Machine band, which is an incantation of Hit Machine, which was Matavire’s band,” he said.
“I know there will probably be backlash from critics, but I will soldier on since music is my passion. I just want to follow the footsteps of my role model who also happened to be my late father’s friend.”
He added: “I was part of the Jairos Jiri Band having joined it in 2020, but have decided to go solo by forming an eight-member (six male and two female) outfit in February this year.”
“As a way of showing how serious we are, we will be launching our debut album Sekera Mudende next Wednesday.”
“The album was recorded at G Art Studio by Antony Gasany. Our music is a mixture of rhumba, gospel, jiti and sungura.”
Mbavara’s songs are laden with humour just like Matavire’s compositions.
He uses deep Shona and English lyrics in his songs.
Songs to be part of Mbavara’s six-track album are Chikomba, Usaore Moyo, title track Sekera Mudende, Zorora Wawana, Ndiri Kufara and Paukama.
- Follow Winstone onTwitter @widzoanto