By Blessing Vava
NB: This article was written on the 1st of November after an article published in the Herald titled Squabbles rock Utakataka Express
The late Sungura giant Tongai Moyo is one musician whose humble background and hard work earned him a place in Zimbabwe’s premier league of musicians. He transformed his backing group, the Utakataka Express, a four men piece to an 18 men formidable outfit . Since the groups formation in the mid 90s, the band went through difficult times with misfortunes which range from deaths of band members and accidents which at one time wiped out Dhewa’s instruments.
But nevertheless Dhewa worked hard to keep his band intact though some members left the outfit at different occasions. As leader of the outfit he also delegated certain roles especially those of management to other people and not necessarily centralising everything to himself. So far a number of individuals have had their chance to manage the Kwekwe based band to date. Names like the late Munemi ‘Mavara’ Mavurambudzi, Pliers Pauraene, Knowledge Chosa and lately the popular chanter Shiga Shiga, being some of the names to manage Utakataka Express.
But it was last year that the late musician fired his manager, nephew and former bouncer Knowldge Chosa, who was then replaced by Shiga Shiga. Though it was not clear why Chosa was shown the door speculation was rife that time that Chosa, a former bouncer had failed dismally as manager hence his firing. Though there is a saying that blood is thicker than water, Dhewa had to drop his nephew Chosa and opting for a foreigner, Shiga Shiga to assume control of the band’s affairs an indication that Chosa was incapable. Since the day Shiga Shiga assumed control of the band he became one of
Dhewa’s most trusted lieutenants and stood by him till the day we lost him.
Sadly, barely a month after Dhewa’s death they have been reports that Chosa has bounced back again and this time wielding an axe and a hammer. He has since stripped Shiga Shiga of his role as manager and thus appointing himself to run the affairs of the band. What is surprising however is that Dhewa himself realised Chosa’s shortcomings in 2010 and that’s why he was relieved of his duties. Now he is taking advantage that Dhewa is nomore. From the look of things it is clear that Chosa is out to destroy Dhewa’s legacy by forcibly taking control of the band from Shiga.
He failed in 2010 and now he is back again to cause confusion in an outfit that needs a unifier at such a time as this. His moves are a clear demonstration of lack of professionalism that many critics have been writing about. I have always been arguing in my previous writings that music outfits should be run professionally and that they should have clear succession plans in case the band leader dies. Music bands are not family entities where one just comes from nowhere and takes his share. In Dhewa’s case it was now apparent that Peter was going to take over and continue from where his father left from. And we didn’t expect much change in terms of the management part of it.
The band members had agreed that Peter was going to fill his father’s shoes and prepared to work under him despite the fact that he is still young. These guys know that it was Dhewa’s dream to see his son taking over and I don’t doubt that despite his young age he was going to pull through. And we don’t know how this Chosa guy is coming on board in an outfit that had only one vacancy to fill the place of Dhewa? So Mr Chosa is not needed in this outfit.
The fact that Peter is still young and needs time to mature does not call for certified failures like Chosa to rip where they did not sow simply because he was a nephew to Dhewa. Mr Chosa, age is nothing but just a number, Sulu Chimbetu assumed control of the Dendera Kings at 25 so Peter can still do the same. With the help of senior band members like Shiga and Spencer
Reading from his comments in the Herald dated 1 November 2011, one can clearly notice that Chosa is a man whose thirst for authority is likely to tear the band apart. His eagerness to take charge of the band is driven by nothing but greed.
Noone had expected that family members would intervene in the day to day running of this band, and with the rate at which they are taking control of happenings it calls for nothing other than solutions that will take the band forward. My personal appeal to Knowledge Chosa is that he should leave Utakataka Express in the hands to those who were left by Dhewa.
He had his time and failed and what miracle again this time will make him produce wonders with the band. His interference will definitely tear this band apart if something urgent is not done to stop this unashamed guy. We appeal to family members, promoters, and other interested parties to guide Utakataka Express and restore sanity so that they continue from where Muchina Muhombe left from.