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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Great Betrayal- The Classic Case of Utakataka’s Shiga Shiga and Spencer Khumulani

Betrayed-The Late Igwee-Tongai Moyo

By Blessing Vava

Harare-One of Jesus Christ’s disciples Judas Iscariot’s love for silver made him  betray his master for 30 pieces and consequently the son of man was captured and later crucified. Though  money is an essential element in our day to day transactions, it is also the reason why we toil every morning to go to work so that at the end of the day we get paid to feed our families.   But there is one aspect of life that we should always remember that your soul or principle should never be traded for anything. Not all that glitters is  gold.

 The case of Utakataka Express duo of Spencer Khumulani and Shiga Shiga, was a betrayal to the late Sungura icon. WHY?  Barely 3 months after the death of their leader Tongai Moyo, they decided to leave the band in the hour of need all for the love of silver.
Judas Iscariot-Spencer Khumulani,
 This is despite bickering in the press that they will never leave the band, but instead stay  until the band has repaid the debts accrued when Dhewa was alive  and also until the young Igwe has matured to stand on his own. The  music industry is not rosy, you don’t make it over night, but it is through hard work, patience and  consistence that transforms one into a big star. The fruits are not enjoyed over night, the industry has its ups and downs and most bands have undergone  such. Spencer and Shiga were great pillars of the band and their departure is really sad. Utakataka had been one stable outfit with less movement of band members deaths being the only thing that made Dhewa replace the departed ones. On leaving at the greatest time of need, the two showed lack of empathy despite what the late  Igwe did to transform their careers. Spencer Khumulani was little known before joining Utakataka, and he became one of the country’s most popular bass guitarists, mainly because he was part of Utakataka. This is unlike in many music bands that a guitarist enjoys such popularity like what Spencer did while at Utakataka. The same with Shiga Shiga, who after years of struggling with the now defunct New Stars Musica, he only rose to popularity after being roped in by Dhewa in April 2006 to join the formidable music outfit. Therefore from such a background I would have expected the duo  NOT to be enticed by the huge perks from Mutodi and walk out of the band barely 3 months after the Igwe’s death.

Money Shark-Energy Mutodi,
using his  money
to buy band members
Ungrateful-Shiga Shiga, deserted Utakataka
at the hour of need
There’s one aspect of ubuntu/hunhu conscience  which the two lacked when they made their move. Even in our African customs, the wife of the deceased cannot have another relationship after a year or so until all the rituals have been completed. Their move  to me was unethical and to a certain extent a great betrayal to Dhewa. There is more to life than money.  They should realise that they achieved their fame as part of Utakataka, and fans will identify them Utakataka. I was disturbed to hear reports that Mutodi paid an undisclosed amount for the two to Peter Moyo, who according to the Herald appeared overwhelmed also adding that he got a ‘lump some’ and expressed satisfaction with the deal. Are band members now football players who can be sold for a certain fee?? One wonders.

Unprincipled-Peter Moyo,  overwhelmed by
the 'lump sum' from Mutodi
I feel Peter, should not have accepted Mutodi’s money, he should just have let the two go. I bet if Tongai was still alive he wouldn’t have taken a cent from that deal. Remember he refused to be a charity case when he was battling with cancer.  As for young Peter does it also mean that if again he is approached by other big ‘sharks’ like Mutodi he will sell off other band members? My strong advice to him is that he should  provide leadership and motivation to his band members because the industry is highly competitive. If he is not careful he will end up mortgaging the whole band. 

  As for Mutodi, apart from him not being a gifted musician, he has shown that he is a destructive element within our music industry. Dhewa’s band is still trying to recover and we all hoped that big ‘sharks’ like  Mutodi who have a ‘passion’ to see the growth of the music industry in Zimbabwe should  have supported Utakataka even financially  and not to entice band members to join his fading Real Sounds of Africa. If he really cares about the welfare of band members how come he hasn’t bought a car for any of his current band members and the question is what is so special about  the two? So does the welfare of Shiga and Spencer matters the most than that of his current band members? One also wonders.

The author is a music critic based in Harare. He can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com, blevava.blogspot.com