Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
Legendary singer Dorothy Masuku says “musicians are born” and this is the reason most children of popular artistes often fail to fit in their parents’ shoes.
The 79-year-old star who arrived in Harare on Tuesday to grace the Star Brite finale scheduled for 1+1 Happy at the Long Cheng Plaza tonight, said it was difficult to be a singer.
“The truth is you cannot want to sing. You have to be born a musician. This is why you see my daughter, Laika, is not a musician. Even if you look at Miriam Makeba’s granddaughter, she is not doing well,” she said.
In an interview with The Herald Entertainment, the “Gona Ramachingura” singer, who is lovingly called Auntie Dot by her fans, also gave examples of some of Zimbabwean musicians whose children were failing to match their parents.
“There is this artiste who sang ‘jira (rokwe) rangu remavara’ (Simon Chimbetu), I am told his son is into music but you can see there is a world of difference. Andy Brown was also good. There are many other youngsters who are trying to fit in their fathers’ footsteps but they do so with little or no success,” she said.
Auntie Dot said she has been there and done a lot but music was her calling.
“If you look at me, I once worked as an air hostess and later on in the army but that is not what God gave me and without music I will die. There is a time you cease to be yourself because music takes control of your life.”
She said musicians make many sacrifices for their careers. “At one time I was booked to perform on a train from South Africa to Victoria Falls for dignitaries but I was sick. They said ‘you have to come’ and they called a doctor who gave me a jab before I boarded the train. I performed without feeling any pain but afterwards it all came back to me,” she explained.
Auntie Dot, who is set to be honoured this year during the Star Brite finale, described herself as “more of a politician than a musician”.
“I tell you the devil has taken over South Africa such that there are quite a number of youths who are saying Uncle Bob (President Mugabe) should come and put things in order. They believe he has the moral ground to fix things.
“I remember performing at President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration and President Mugabe and the First Lady were there. I would be pleased to meet them here because we didn’t have time to talk when they were in South Africa.
“This is my home. I was born in Bulawayo and everytime I come here and they ask me to sign those papers (at the border) I don’t understand it because I fought for this country. I sang politics, do you remember the song ‘Lumumba’ which I released after Lumumba’s disappearance. In the song I said ask (Moise) Tshombe where Lumumba is,” she explained.
Turning to music, Auntie Dot who is farming in Zambia, said she was pleased to work with youngsters and was hoping to find a “young Dorothy”.
“I would like to thank Barney for coming up with such an initiative to groom young performers who draw inspiration from our culture and tradition. In South Africa there are thousands of performers but you find that when event organisers want a performance for dignities from other countries they look for artistes like myself and others for something that is truly African,” she said.
This year Star Brite seeks to honour Auntie Dot with a special performance from the top 10 contestants who will sing her compositions. In 2012, the finalists performed Oliver Mtukudzi’s songs while in 2013 the contestants honoured Dr Thomas Mapfumo.
The Star Brite finale starts at 6pm with tickets available at their offices or at the Long Cheng Plaza’s 1+1 Happy.