Senior Arts Reporter
Veteran gospel musician Machanic Manyeruke has said artistes, especially the upcoming ones, should not only rely on music as a source of income, but must have projects that sustain their livelihood.
Manyeruke, who opened up about his new projects, a new house and music, was optimistic that artistes can achieve many things in the industry.
But first things first, Manyeruke says his first name has been misspelt for a long time.
“My first name is Machanic not Mechanic,.It has an ‘a’ not an ‘e’ as is often written by some people. Please correct that and this is my real name — Machanic Joseph Manyeruke. You know, names are important wherever you go and to avoid confusion people should always write the correct spelling.”
The award-winning musician said in an interview that the house that he is building in his rural home in Chiwundura, Midlands province, was almost complete.
“The young artistes should know that no matter how hard we try to entertain the fans, we should also have a house and some projects that can sustain us. Look how our sector has been affected by Covid-19, and it is us the artistes who suffer the most.
“I know it is a difficult sector, but you should try to have something. I decided to build my four-bedroom house in my rural home. This is where I can rest and chill, the Harare house will be for business.”
The “Makorokoto” hit-maker said he will not be building a studio in the rural area.
“Many people have been questioning my music career if I am relocating to Chiwundura. There shall come a time I need to rest from all of this and this is the correct place to do that. The house in Chiwundura, I call it ‘my little Harare’ because it has everything and very soon I will be hosting a house-warming party.”
Although he was busy with the construction of the house during the Covid-19 lockdown since last year, Manyeruke said he found time to go back to the studio for his 26th album.
“I am a farmer and during the lockdown I was busy with the construction of the house and I had to go back in the studio to work on my latest offering which is currently playing on airwaves,” he said.
“The new album is called ‘Mwari Taurai’. It has eight songs which features Jonathan Mgazi and his wife Melinda.”
Manyeruke said the album might herald his come-back, considering that it has an inspirational song, the title track “Mwari Taurai”, which has been dedicated to Covid-19.
“As always, I am inspired by societal settings and these have made me to survive in the sector, singing the truth. ‘Mwari Taurai’ is a song we say God should speak as we have hope and faith that this shall come to pass.
“It is a fun-loving, happy song during the crisis that left so many saddened, especially by the deaths caused by Covid-19. Somehow, I felt that many people needed a reason to have hope, laugh, dance and sing again.”
Produced by Mgazi, Manyeruke said a video to the album was coming soon.
“I have noticed that times have changed and we as old artistes should embrace the new norm in order to stay relevant. I am working on a new video and I am glad some friends in the United Kingdom bought us a camera and equipment.
“The cameras are currently in Chegutu and ready for collection. I want to revive my video production and quality to meet the current trends.”
Manyeruke said he has forgiven and forgotten about Pride Africa Network director Sheppard Sirewu who in 2014 had promised him a Jaguar XF car.
The promise came after the musician was honoured for his contribution to the music industry.
“Well, I have forgiven and forgotten about that music promoter dealer. He was someone trying to raise his bar by honouring musicians, but unfortunately it did not happen.
“We met and spoke about it. I never pursued the issue again because this was a promise and you know they can be broken. But I urge and encourage music promoters, or business people who would want to work with us to honour promises they would have put on the table and finish everything first, rather than to have glory and fame for things that are not there. That will be abuse of the sector.”
Manyeruke said he was grateful as some well-wishers had been coming on board to assist him considering that the music sector has been hard-hit by Covid-19.
“My last performance was in December last year in Bulawayo. I miss the stage, but for now there is nothing we can do. I am happy that Mikayi from Voice of Mbare managed to drill a borehole at my rural house. I was surprised by the gesture.
“He didn’t want that to be publicised that time, but it is worth mentioning,” said Manyeruke.