Senior Arts Reporter
Sungura music legend and Khiama Boys frontman, Nicholas Zakaria, is rebranding lest he risks being left behind by younger musicians who are producing top-notch videos.
And true to his word, Zakaria — who is affectionately known as Madzibaba or Senior Lecturer — could be mistaken for a teenage pop-singer when he launched a video of his 1998 hit “Zomvelamvela” at a private function in Harare yesterday because of his “youthful” dress code.
Clad in a checked tracksuit with a matching white Versace T-shirt and white sneakers, and spotting his trademark bald-head and goatie beard, Zakaria proved anything is possible given a chance and resources in showbiz.
“Zomvelamvela” translated to mean “Zvekunzwira-nzwira” in Shona, speaks on marital issues and the video was shot by Eagle Focus Production Company.
Zakaria had last produced a musical video in 2008 — “Ida Anokuda” off the album “Simbiso”.
Speaking after the launch, the musician said he wanted to rekindle his romance with yesteryear fans.
He revealed that he was working on his 28th album where he roped in the services of consistent Beatrice-based sungura musician, Simon Mutambi.
The album is set for release within a fortnight.
“I last did a video in 2008 and as you have seen a lot is changing,” said Zakaria. “We do not need to be left out, otherwise we will not keep up with the speed these new artistes are moving at. I can say I am rebranding myself and you can expect more.
“I am working with Simon Mutambi on the forthcoming album. The new album will have six tracks and will be released in few weeks to come.
“I also want to thank my management for helping me rebrand as business is now being done professionally and I cannot wait to perform on stage again with live audiences, not this virtual process, although we have been embracing the new culture.”
Mutambi said working with Zakaria was a dream come true.
“I learnt about Madzibaba while I was young, through my mother who used to play his songs so much,” he said. “I thought maybe she was related to the musician because she could sing along to his songs fluently.
“I grew up liking the artiste and I approached him to work with him. He gave me two guitars for a start as he said I should be on my own.
“He taught me music and the rest is history. I owe him so much. I am happy that my dream has finally come true. As of now we are working on the same album.”
Music promoter, Patson “Chipaz” Chimbodza congratulated Zakaria for bouncing back with the “Zomvelamvela” video, saying he had a strong relationship with the musician.
“Of the years I have worked with the artiste, I can testify and confess that there is no single contract that I signed with him,” he said. “We had a close relationship, like brothers.
“We go to the same church — Vapositori. I would just talk to him and we could agree whether there was money or no money. We could work together.”
Several personalities, including fashionistas, music promoters, businessmen and musicians graced the launch, which also saw the video being bought for $1 000 before it was premiered.
The memory stick, which contained the video during the launch, also carried Zakaria’s documentary about his life history and musical journey.
“Zomvelamvela” was uploaded on YouTube and has already attracted attention from many people.
Lone Star Construction Company, which was at the launch, pledged to assist in the construction of a music centre, which Zakaria has been planning to set up in his home town of Chitungwiza.
Trend Zone, who dressed the renowned sungura singer for the event, pledged to continue dressing and styling him whenever the need arose.