The Herald

Arts Reporter
AFRO-jazz musician Elvis Mhembere — who was groomed at the late Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton — has dedicated songs to the late music godfather, as well as celebrated drummer and percussionist, John Muyambo, popularly known as Chibhodhoro on his new album titled “Ngwara”.

Although he regrets missing an opportunity on recording a song with the late music icon, Mhembere — known as Face of Africa in music circles — said he found it prudent to honour Mtukudzi and Chibhodhoro for the inspiration they gave him through songs.

“I went to Pakare Paye Arts Centre several times to see Mudhara Tuku and from then he groomed me into the music industry.

“Due to financial challenges, I shelved my guitar to pursue another career. I later returned to Tuku for assistance as I was preparing for a new album.

“It was unfortunate that I failed to make it after receiving money for recording too late,” he said.

Face of Africa said he sourced funds from friends for his studio time.

He also claimed that the late Mtukudzi liked one of his music demos titled “Pondori”.

“The song ‘Pondiri’ was Tuku’s favourite from the demo music I had prepared by that time.

“There was a song titled ‘Hapana’, which I dedicated to my late mother and all women out there.

“I had plans to record that song with Mtukudzi in honour of all mothers, but I had to change it during recording and dedicated it to him (Tuku),” he said.

“On ‘Ngwara’ there is also a song that I dedicated to drummer Chibhodhoro titled ‘Kuzipira’.

“On this album I featured Mudhara Chibhodhoro, and I am currently working on a video for the song “Ndinobatikana,” he added.

“Ngwara” carries the title track “Kunditarisira Pasi”, “Wasara Sei”, “Hapana” and “Nyasha Dzenyu.”

The album was recorded by Clive “Mono” Mkundu at his Monolio Studios.