When Tatadzei Chimanga was growing up he would spend most of his time playing hosho. While in Grade Three at Nyamakosi Primary School, he had already mastered the art of playing hosho. During his final year at Nyamakosi, the founder of Zvishamiso Zvevapostori Bishop Mufuka had already seen that the boy exhibited special hosho-playing skills and he travelled with him during his crusades.
Now a sergeant in the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Tatadzei Chimanga continues playing the instrument with much zeal, precision and energy that he usually leaves people spellbound whenever he performs.
“Mr Hosho”, as Chimanga is affectionately known by his colleagues, left people yearning for more when he performed at President Mugabe’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium on August 22.
He mesmerised the audience so much that by the time the AFZ Brass Band had finished played, he had won the hearts of many.
After his performance, there was ululation and clapping of hands from the 60 000 strong crowd that attended the ceremony.
During a graduation ceremony held at Chinhoyi University last year, President Mugabe singled out “Mr Hosho” as the best performer at the event.
He also performed alongside New York-based music group Slavic Soul at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in 2011.
Such is the influence exhibited by “Mr Hosho”.
For him, playing the instrument is a special talent from God.
Playing hosho started as a pastime but as he grew so did his passion.
“I used to play it for fun but now it’s something in me that I cannot do without. Hosho defines me,” he said. He said all the antics he displays on stage come naturally.
“I just listen to the beat of the drums and then come up with my sound. I use two hoshos because that is my style. People think I use a lot of energy, but to me it’s normal,” he said.
“Mr Hosho” said when he joined the AFZ he was not part of the brass band.
“I was invited by Group Captain Katsvairo after seeing that I was talented. I auditioned and he was impressed. The rest is history.
“I used to have a group in Mutoko. We sang gospel but since I am employed in Harare, I can’t join them but when I return to my rural area, I perform with them,” he said.
The hosho wizard said he had no problem balancing his work with his passion.
“The good thing about being in the army is that it is intertwined with music. Even during the days of the liberation struggle, anamukoma vaidawo morari nekuimba (freedom fighters wanted morale through music). So it’s easy for me to balance the two,” he said.
“Mr Hosho” encouraged people to use their talent productively.
“Everyone is born with his or her talent and it is up to the person to pursue. Hosho is an African instrument and I have found fame using it.
“People should not be shy to show their talent. I urge young people to do things wholeheartedly,” he said. Interestingly, his wife never knew that “Mr Hosho” could play the instrument.
“At first she only knew that I was a soldier and not a hosho player, but later she discovered that I play hosho and she quickly accepted. She is supportive,” he said.
Born in 1981, “Mr Hosho” is married to Jesca Chakura and is blessed with three-year-old daughter Tawananyasha.