Kudakwashe Chideme Entertainment Reporter
Ronny Chataika, son of the late King of Afro Soul, Jordan Chataika, with the backing of his aunts Edna and Molly is set to
continue with the Chataika legacy when he revives the Highway Stars.
The Highway Stars was a band of repute back in the 1970s under the leadership of the legendary Jordan Chataika.
The group released popular songs such as “Muponisi Wangu”, “Mudzimu Mukuru” and “Vakomana VeWenera”.
“Ronny is blessed with his father’s voice and with me and Edna as the backing vocalists, we will certainly bring back that smooth Chataika groove,” said Molly.
Since Zimbabwe last heard the voice of Jordan, the arts industry has experienced a vast changes that have reshaped and redefined music and its followers over the years.
The trio is aware of this situation and admit they have a mammoth task ahead of them. However, they are confident that there still exists an audience which appreciates their type of music.
“We are aware that the game has changed but what makes us special is that unlike everyone else we sing from our hearts,” said Edna.
Mr Chataika, who has in past been described as a “gospel music trailblazer”, started singing in 1959 and is credited as the pioneer of local gospel music.
In actual fact, some argue that back then he was the first gospel artiste of African origin in Zimbabwe.
The older generation will recall early gospel hits such as “Vana veIsrael”.
Jordan was a composer and singer of humourous and religious songs.
His hilarious pieces where popular in many African homes. One of his famous songs is “Mufana Ndiri Dhiraiva”.
Asked why at the age of 70 the Chataika sisters still want to sing, Molly said: “Music is in our blood; it is a gift we inherited from our mother. We love to sing and would want to continue singing to our graves.”
The two grannies’ love for music is profound given their age but age is no barrier as they are active in the AFM church choir with one being the choir mistress.
Though Ronny has mastered the acoustic guitar striking the notes in a way similar to his father, he admits the shoes he has to fill are huge.
“Following in my father’s footsteps is quite a big challenge but I am certainly up for the task,” he said.
“People say I have my father’s voice so it should not be that difficult with the backing of my aunts.”
Ronny, Edna and Molly are already working on an album, which is set for release next year.
The trio says the project will contain some new material as well as remixes of Jordan’s songs.
After the death of his father in 1990, Ronny together with his two aunts joined hands and continued with the band, but later disbanded following some challenges, mainly financial.
Chataika and his aunts last released an album in 2000, entitled “Mushandiri Washe”.