Problem Masau Arts Correspondent
JOHN “Chibhodhoro” Muyambo is regarded as one of the finest percussionist s and drummers in Zimbabwe. Playing drums has been part of his life since childhood. The multi-talented entertainer is also an actor of repute having had a stint with the late Safirio Madzikatire. Of late the pint-sized actor-cum-musician has been criss-crossing the Limpopo River in a quest to make ends meet, performing on either side of the river that separates Zimbabwe and South Africa.
When he is in Zimbabwe, Chibhodhoro performs with Tanga WekwaSando and Down South he has joined forces with South African gospel singer Lucky Muzuli.
Now a senior citizen, Chibhodhoro said he has to continue with showbiz to bring food on the table.
“Things have never been easy for me. I have a family to look after and since Tanga has slowed down on performances I have to find ways to look after the children.
“I have joined a South African gospel outfit called Rema which I occasionally perform with. There are two of us Zimbabweans in the group; the other is lead guitarist Daniel Meki,” he said.
He said he is in the process of assembling his own band.
“I have a band called Zim Zam but the problem is that I do not have equipment. However, I have been buying instruments each time I go to South Africa. I recently bought a mixer,” he said.
Chibhodhoro said there was a ray of hope because Tanga recently got a contract to perform at PaFio Night Club every Saturday.
“The place was recently renovated and we are going to pocket a few dollars performing there,” he said.
The veteran drummer said he was happy that one of his sons was following in his footsteps.
“My son Nigel has got a job with the Zimbabwe Prison Services because he is such a talented drummer. I am very happy for him,” he said.
Nigel still lives with his father.
Born in 1950, Chibhodhoro has been in the entertaining business for nearly four decades
At the age of 19 in 1969, the drummer joined the Great Sounds at Rambanai in Mbare then known as Harare Township.
It is with this group that they churned out an all time classic “Anopenga Ane Waya”.
He went on to play at the Federal Hotel now known as Holly’s Hotel, with the Baked Beans.
In 1973, he switched to the Vito Tavern and El Morroca, now known as Live Wire.
“I met Safirio Madzikatire in 1976 and left Great Sounds for Safirio’s Ocean City Band,” he said.
The nomadic drummer left Madzikatire in 1973 to back other groups on contract basis.
It was during this time that he was part of the cast that backed Oliver Mtukudzi on the famous song “Please Ndapota”.
He was lured back by Safirio to play the character Chibhodhoro in the television drama series “Mukadota”.
He described his time with Madzikatire as the “best time of his life”.