Senior Arts Reporter
Being a child of a music legend or icon is not easy in showbiz, especially when many people expect you to fill in the big shoes of your parent.
Some fans would expect you to lift the bar higher, while others want you to be an exact replica of your parent.
This is somehow the case with the late sungura musician John Chibadura’s sons, who revealed in an interview how hard it has been for them in the music sector.
Simba Chibadura Nyamukoko, one of John Chibadura’s sons said they were fighting hard to maintain their father’s legacy and his band, the Tembo Brothers.
But it seems fans are expecting too much from them. Apart from that, there are some who are abusing his father’s band name to market themselves.
These are mainly former members of his father’s band, who are confusing fans by ensuring there are many bands with the name Tembo Brothers on the market.
“This showbiz industry is tough, but we are trying to make ends meet,” he said. “Imagine, before Covid-19 when we used to host shows, we were at loggerheads with some of my father’s band members who were still using the Tembo Brother’s name to book for shows.
“This is despite that it had been discussed with all stakeholders, including my father’s band members, that we take the name and continue the legacy.
“There were now two Tembo Brothers and fans were confused on who to support and where to go for shows. I later confronted Rodrick Chemudhara and Douglas Katsvairo, former members of my father’s band.
“Chemudhara and his friends were afraid to work with us and they later agreed to drop the name Tembo Brothers. Katsvairo was lying to people that he was one of Chibadura’s sons. He is not our band member and we never worked with him.”
Simba said they later reported the matter to the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) and they are still waiting to hear how the matter could be resolved.
“I think Katsvairo was given a warning on copyright,” he said. “Katsvairo used to play my father’s songs at his shows.”
Simba said there were six boys and one girl born in their family and they stayed with their mother in Domboshava, not in Chitungwiza where his father gained fame to the extent of being nicknamed Mr Chitungwiza. Of the family members, it is him, Knowledge and John (junior) who are in the Tembo Brothers.
Simba is the lead singer in the band.
He recalls how his father used to take him to shows while still young and teach him how to sing.
“We are now family men and each one has his own place,” said Simba. “We stay in Domboshava. My father died while I was 15. I was so young to trace and follow up on our father’s inheritance.
“Some of the music equipment disappeared in Mozambique where he last performed. He used to play with Clive Malunga and at one show he was lifted up by fans, chanting his hit songs as they carried him to the stage. I was in Grade 4 then.”
Asked about their forth-coming album which they said would be launched together with a DVD, Simba said it will be released on August 8.
“Right now we are rehearsing and getting ready for the launch,” he said. “We want to launch it on August 8 as it is the memorial day of our late father. The new album ‘Murawo WaMwari’, will have six songs. We want to keep the legacy alive.”
Simba said their 2020 album “Makatiraira” was not well received, but that did not affect their goals to continue singing.
“Sungura is within us and we want to prove to our father, wherever he is, that we can take the genre to the next level,” he said. “Our role model is our late father. We last performed in Mt Darwin at a gala function.
“Currently Covid-19 has affected us as well, as we are trying to do a virtual show, but at the same time we do not have enough equipment.”
Simba said he was happy with how veteran musician Clive Malunga of Jenaguru approached them two years ago with intentions to manage the Tembo Brothers.
He said he owes it to Malunga for the band’s sudden change to professionalism.
“We are under Jenaguru and this has helped us to achieve what we have now,” said Simba. “We rehearse at Malunga’s studio. We used to practise at home, but it was difficult.
“We want to have collaborations with Jah Prayzah and Winky D on some of the songs which have a reggae feel. Our new album was inspired by societal settings on human nature, that no one is better than the other as we serve different purposes in life.
“We also want to put reggae gospel on the album.”