Problem Masau Arts Correspondent
AT the turn of the millennium, Freddie “Kapfupi” Manjalima virtually made Harare’s First Street his second home. Dressed in rags, he would spend most of the day entertaining people. He is one of the people who revolutionarised street theatre. Who can afford to forget this line “Ndadaira ayini Mai Bhoyi?”During those days, he virtually lived off from the well-wishers pocket. Those who were impressed by his act would give him a few dollars out of benevolence.
Fast forward to this day, Kapfupi continues to write his own from rags to riches story after becoming one of the established sungura artistes in the country.
For a man who started off as a farm boy, to main street theatre actor and only recently to be a musician, to board a plane for a performance in London, his fortunes have been on gradual rise, something that he says he never imagined would happen.
Kapfupi is even more excited with the progress he has made in his career so far.
The former street theatre performer has chronicled his life struggles in a song “Nhoroondo”.
The song narrates the comedian’s life story from the time he was in street theatre to this day where he has made fame and fortune through music and hard work.
Referring to the time he was a street theatre performer, Kapfupi sings: “Taiita kunge marombe, makata anoshura mawere . . . zvinhu zvese zvine nhoroondo.”
Fortune seems to favour the brave and this appears to be true for Kapfupi.
Ever since he released his smash hit “Mai Nga”, Kapfupi has never looked back.
The musician now claims space in the fast lane with his BMW.
He started to satiate his penchant for wheels with a modest Nissan Pulsar and dumped it for Mazda 323 before making a giant leap to the BMW.
As if it was not enough, Kapfupi opened a bar in Epworth in 2011.
Kapfupi even has bodyguards on his payroll.
Born 36 years ago in Ruwa, Kapfupi attended Raymondale Primary School, where his passion for acting started in Grade Four.
This was to continue in high school at Domboramwari Secondary School in Epworth, where he unfortunately dropped out in Form Two and had to take up menial jobs that included acting and sewing.
In 1998, he teamed up with Jeffrey “Aphiri” Chikwesere to form True Vision Drama Club.
The two later went their separate ways when Kapfupi added live music to his act leading to the formation of the band Orchestra Ndoozvo.
This picture collage shows (clockwise, from the top, Freddie manjalaima shows his comic side while wearing a “baby jumper”, with his wife at their Epworth home, shaking hands with President Mugabe and posing with a member of the Royal Mounted Police in London