Gem from Great Zimbabwe University
Naledi Sande Arts Reporter
Great Zimbabwe University has produced an album titled “Dangwe” through its music outfit, Team Fusion.
The group consists of 10 students doing various degree programmes at the university.
Five girls and five boys were invited to take part in the music outfit and these are Rutendo Rori, Ruvimbo Pangwai, Chipo Nyambiya, Pamela Makunike, Lynn Togarasei, Wellington Mtigwa, Richmore Chiteve aka Ray C, Isaac Matambo, Nyasha Warinda and Ignatius Gwengweni.
The 8-track album was recorded at Vialy Studios in January and songs include “Sweet True Love”, “Only You”, “Mafaro”, “Chipo Ichi”, “Makorokoto”, “Sekai”, “Wanna Be Me” and “Nyarara Kuchema”.
Artists and repertoire manager, Julia Yule said this album is meant to fill the gap between their school and music.
“The album is part of learning. They are bridging the gap between theory and practice.”
Team Fusion recruits students with potential every semester and exposes them to the industry through music performances.
Since the group consists of university students, some may wonder how they balance music and chasing assignment deadlines.
Band director Shadreck Dzingai said that most people in the group are studying Musicology and taking part in music is also part of their schooling.
He said, “To those who are studying music it is schooling. However, for those that are not studying music, they chose music as their extra-curricular activity the same respect as some may take sport.”
Dzingai highlighted how he and Yule set up practice sessions during free periods and weekends so that music does not interfere with their studies.
Ray C, Rutendo Rori and Masta (Wellington Mtigwa) are some of the band members that have had solo projects before Team Fusion.
Rutendo who is the lead vocalist of “Sweet True Love” and “Sekai” was part of the Marondera-based group, African Roots and took part in the Chibuku Road to Fame 2015 representing Mashonaland East.
Ray C on the other hand has released multiple conscious/dancehall singles; an album last year titled “Shanda” and recently released his singles collection “Ndini”.
Masta has recorded a few singles including “Welcome to GZU” and he has also won himself Best Rapper award at the Marondera Music Awards last year.
The students are allowed to continue with their solo works while being part of the University project. They are all encouraged to start exploring solo avenues so as to grow.
“They were in junior school bands, music groups, some come from families of musicians and some were in church music teams,” Dzingai noted.
Yule said it was always their dream to make music hence this was an opportunity granted to them.
“They all had passion for music and they were granted an opportunity to fulfil their drams,” she said.
Team Fusion is looking forward to making more albums in a bid to cement the group’s image in people’s hearts.
Dzingai said, “This is the beginning of a new era where we want to expose our students’ talents and we will be producing and recording our students’ works at least twice a year since we operate on a semester system.
Also with the financial aid that the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Rungano Zvobgo offered to us, we are likely to do another album before year-end.”
They are planning to recruit more students in future since some of the current students are soon graduating from college.
“The band will recruit for sure because some students will be leaving as they complete their studies. However, we will try maintain number 10,” Yule stated.
Dzingai added, “We will also want to accommodate Great Zimbabwe alumni in our upcoming projects that may have lost the opportunity during their years at College.”
Currently, Team Fusion is rehearsing for their first live performance on March 31 as they launch their music outfit.
“The group is full of energy and is highly motivated and their performance level will surpass many. We have a line-up of events that we are going to be a part of and this will bring the group closer to its audience or fans,” said Dzingai.
The band also aims to work with aspiring young musicians from the community giving them guidance and training.
“We will also want to empower musically talented youngsters who play music by the road sides in towns so that they take music seriously as a profession.”