Mbirimi burial attracts top musicians, officials

13 Apr, 2021 - 11:04 0 Views
Mbirimi burial attracts top musicians, officials Friday Mbirimi

The Herald

Columbus Mabika

Herald Reporter

People from all walks of life, including musicians and promoters, top Government officials and friends on Monday thronged Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare to witness the burial of jazz legend Friday Mbirimi.

His death robbed the nation of a well-loved musician who entertained the country for decades and performed alongside hundreds of local and international musicians.

Mbirimi succumbed to colon cancer complications on Tuesday last week in Harare.

He was 78.

Speakers described Mbirimi’s death as a big blow to the nation.

Gospel musician, Mechanic Manyeruke, implored Zimbabweans to celebrate the legacy of nation-building left by the legendary musician.

“We should celebrate the inheritance my friend Friday Mbirimi left to the nation that will be useful to coming generations,” he said. “Let’s take pride in that we are Zimbabweans. Artists have a role to play in nation-building.

“It is a great loss to the music industry, especially considering that he was not just a fellow musician, but also a good friend who united people across the divide, someone who wanted to see everyone prosper.”

Renowned music producer, Clive “Mono” Mukundu was at pains trying to describe the loss he felt following Mbirimi’s death.

“He was more of a family member,” he said. “It’s a great loss, a big wound in my heart that will need God’s intervention to heal. Life is very unfair, but it’s only God who knows everything. Despite the big gap in age difference, we would talk up anything.”

YAFM general manager Tawanda Gudhlangah said Mbirimi was a team player, who, despite, his age and health concerns, always strove to give out the best.

“I came in the entertainment industry at a time Friday already had grown, but being the hard worker he had always been, he continued to offer the best, and those who worked with him will attest to that,” he said.

“He was quite professional and often ensured that he was at his best. When his health began to deteriorate, he remained resolute, and never changed his style of doing things.”

Born in 1943 on a Friday, he got his befitting name from a social welfare officer of Mbare, Edith Opperman.

Mbirimi named his vocal group Mbare Trio, to honour the township which groomed and nurtured his musical artistry.

The Trio consisted of William Kashiri, Friday and his brother Lovejoy Mbirimi.

Mbirimi was educated in Harare, Goromonzi High School and at the University of Zimbabwe, where he read for an honours degree in English.

Some of his songs that jazz lovers will remember which are also on the Mbare Trios’ first and only album titled Uru Rufaro are, “We will make you fishers of men”, “Anodyiwa haataure manyepo”, “Sekuru ndipeyiwo zano rekuhwina Chipo”, “Chigaba chine manyuchi” and “Hamusati mazviona zvinoitwa kwaMutare”, among others.

Mbirimi was also a session artiste for many musicians such as Summer Breeze, Faonri Sumaili (lead guitarist), Vincent Kapepa (on bass) and Moses Kabubi (on keyboards).

The jazz crooner is survived by five children.

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