Adam Chisvo will be sadly missed

18 Jul, 2011 - 00:07 0 Views

The Herald

and anguish I felt for such a loss of life and talent. Only a week ago, I was talking to him outside the Book Cafe in Fife Avenue when he was waiting to perform with Victor Kunonga. He looked fit and strong. Little did I know I was seeing him for the last time.

We, the musicians, stand accused. We now dig deeper, everywhere, produce glowing tributes to honour a man, a father, a musician, a mbira maestro, a solid percussionist, a living legend in our midst and a proud African we betrayed.
We betrayed him because we did not give him the roses that he deserved when he was alive. We all knew he was struggling with his health when he was alive, but I do not remember any of us going to him to assist with the daily medication that he needed.

All we were interested in was the labour he gave as a musician. Nothing can describe the sadness and anguish that we are feeling. The loss of such a precious life will impact on us forever.
The popular mbira player succumbed to diabetes at Harare Hospital on Wednesday morning. I first noticed Adam way back in 1986 when he was playing congas with the band Ilanga, which was made up of Don Gumbo, Andy Brown, Keith Farquharson and Munya Brown.
The first impression I made of him was due to his big built frame. I was secondly impressed by his ability to move around swiftly despite his big body and I started to compare his percussion playing with that of John “Chibhodhoro” Muyambo.

When Ilanga band split up, he joined “The Storm” and played for several years with Andy Brown. When Busi Ncube formed the band Rain, Adam also got involved. After that he became a session musician for the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Charles Summerfield, Willom Tight and later Chiwoniso Maraire.
For the past five years, he was working with Victor Kunonga.

Asked about his working relationship with Adam, this is what Victor had to say: “He was a real pillar in the local music industry. We’ve lost a giant. That’s what I can say. Adam worked with a lot of people. We’ve lost so much. He did a lot both locally and outside our borders. He was a great person; he was always willing to impart his knowledge, experience and skills to the upcoming generation. He will surely be missed.”

Adam was a very soft- spoken and soft-hearted man and he carried himself with so much humility. His departure is a huge loss to the music industry as he was always willing to work with everybody from his early days with Ilanga whether or not he got paid. I remember when the Chelsea Restaurant (corner Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and Angwa Street) was opened a few years ago.
The owner was struggling to find musicians to play at the club regularly. Adam went there and started playing mbira, which attracted the new patrons of that place. He only left the place when he went on tour with Chiwoniso Maraire.

In 2009, after doing a lot of session work for various bands, Adam decided to go solo and went into the recording studio where he recorded an 11-track album titled “Famba Pore Pore”.
This week should have seen Adam performing with Victor Kunonga at the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Jazz Night at Jazz 105, but Adam is no more.

He is survived by his wife, Priscilla, and three children.
I offer my sympathy, prayers and compassion to his family and friends. We will greatly miss Adam. He left us many little things to laugh about, many songs to sing along to and many great ideas to think about.
May His Soul Rest in Peace!

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