Godwin Muzari : Arts Editor
With his latest release “Tsoka Dzerwendo”, Alick Macheso has made a bold statement. He has proved that he is indeed the “King of Sungura” and can single-handedly push the genre to higher levels. Of course he needs support from fellow sungura musicians to keep the genre alive. It is not his personal style but a beat that has stood the test of time and produced shining stars over the past decades.Macheso can make a difference in the genre. He is the King and “Tsoka Dzerwendo” shows that he rules the roost.
The beat is perfect, the lyrics are rich and the vocals are good. Earlier reviews by The Herald have unpacked the contents of the album and the market has now endorsed the release.
Sungura was under serious threat from Zimdancehall and fans were increasingly abandoning the genre because it had nothing exciting to offer.
Other sungura musicians released albums that Zimdancehall musicians easily pushed aside and continued their reign on the music front. It was a pathetic situation.
“How could an established genre like sungura be pushed to the peripheries by these youngsters when it has been the music of the masses for many years?”, many critics questioned.
Zimdancehall is a good genre on its own and it has shown us that our country has massive music talent, but many could not believe that it had overtaken sungura.
And King Macheso has reclaimed that territory. “Tsoka Dzerwendo” has brought the genre to the palace of the music kingdom.
Although Jah Prayzah had for the past years provided an alternative popular genre with his traditional/contemporary beat, the sungura community was crying for a saviour.
Sungura was under siege and the gap was growing with each day. If Macheso had missed the target, then we could have concluded that sungura has lost the battle. That is not the case anymore. Sungura is back on top and the king is ruling once again.
That “Tsoka Dzerwendo” sold more than 100 000 copies on the day of its release is a sign of the faith that sungura fans have in Macheso as the only man who can defend the genre at the moment.
Songs from the album have now congested the airwaves. The songs are playing in most bars, cars, homes and even offices. Such is the power of a king. He can change the tide any moment and exhibit his authority.
Now, other sungura musicians can get comfort in the reality that the sungura ship has been rescued from sinking. The sungura community now waits for the next good sungura project from any other artiste since attention has returned to the mainstream genre.
Zimdancehall will continue making its mark. The competition is far from over and “Tsoka Dzerwendo” should be a challenge to other sungura musicians to work hard and keep the genre afloat.
It was not an easy task and Macheso had sleepless nights in the studio to achieve his current overwhelming praise.
The music industry has endorsed the project and the stage is set to take sungura to another level. The king is back on the throne.
Macheso’s previous release “Kwatakabva Mitunhu” failed to maintain the musician’s momentum and he risked getting booted from the top steps of the music ladder if he had messed up with “Tsoka Dzerwendo.”
It took him time to release the album because he had to coach his new team to come up with the best product.
Macheso admits it was not easy to mould the new instrumentalists into the Orchestra Mberikwazvo shape, but he had to be patient despite massive pressure from fans.
When this writer noted in an analysis early this year that Macheso was delaying his album because he had lost his winning team of talented instrumentalists, the musician was livid and his anger can be justified.
He did not want to expose the weaknesses in his team and compromise their confidence. He has successfully filled the gaps and “Tsoka Dzerwendo” is evidence of the hard work Macheso did to make the best out of what he has.
The song “Gungwa” is likely to be the most popular track on the album while “Mude Mude” and “Baba” are equally competing for the ‘hit of the album’ slot.
“Kurarama Inyasha”, “Munyaradzi” and “Wandirangaridza” are also good tracks, making the album a complete package of potential hits.