Constance van Niekerk
in VEREENIGING, South Africa
Gideon Tafadzwa Zamimba or Gidza as he is affectionately known was born on the 18th of September at Nyadire Hospital in Mutoko. He is the only boy in a family of six, unfortunately, three of his sisters passed away. All his sisters were musicians except the one who died in infancy. They have all recorded with various gospel artists. The eldest, Ivy is married to Brother Sam, a seasoned Gospel musician and has recorded with him and she also performs with him. Masline now late performed at Scripture Union events at school and recorded with Gideon on his debut album. Thandiwe, now late as well used to compose, performed with Brother Sam as well as Gideon and also recorded with him on his debut album. The last one, Anesu has recorded with several gospel groups and did backing vocals for Gideon. Gideon’s mother sings a lot in the church and at funerals and his father played a bamboo instrument .This is indeed a musical family.
He goes on to say, “While at secondary school, I heard the sound of accordion playing in my neighbourhood and rushed to the house. The man who was playing it was Brother Sam, the man who later became my inspiration and one of my mentors. That is how I met him and how I fell in love with the accordion. I then joined Brother Sam’s church and he introduced me to the man he played with, baba Manyeruke.”
Gideon worked with Mechanic Manyeruke for 8 years since he was 18. Veteran Isaac Chirwa played bass and Gideon played keyboards on Manyeruke’s album, Arimandiri Jesu. Gideon also played on Mwari Ishe Wazvose, Mabasa and Nyasha DzaMwari.
During this time, he also recorded with other artists such as Brother Sam. With Brother Sam, they released Cherechedza in early 1995 with the hit songs Musazokanganwa Kutenda and Makanaka Jesu. In 1996, they released PaCalvary with hits such as Mukadzi Akanaka, Tinosvika Here and Mwari Anoshamisa. In 1997, they released Arise and Shine, Tariro (1998) and 2005 Anenzeve Ngaanzwe.
“In 1997, I felt it was time for fresh new things. I left baba Manyeruke even though I still played for him, I also started projects with other gospel artists such as the late Brian Sibalo, Mr Bulk and the Angel Spirits, Killian Darare, Daniel Tayerera, Mupostori Muchetu and Diva Mafunga just to mention a few. The same year, Gideon released his debut album, Rutendo. It is an 8 track album with the tracks: Mwari baba ndinochema, Zvakatanga kare kare, Tinomurumbidza, Ndomutenda, Ndinotenda Mwari wangu, Rutendo, Toimba Hosannah and Hakuna mumwe wakafanana naye.
Unfortunately, the album did not do well on the market.
“It was due mainly to the fact that the company hardly promoted the album not even a promotional video or poster. I had to look for interviews with DJs on my own.”
Gideon goes on to explain, “They tended to treat new artists that way and I guess they didn’t want to spend much on them.”
After his debut album, Gideon continued working on other projects especially with upcoming artists such as Pax Gomo, Diva Mafunga, Kireni Zulu and others. In 2003, Gideon tried once again to record another album, “I did a gospel project which I never released due to financial constraints.”
He then got a sound engineering job at Shed Studio at the end of 2004. Gideon also did some commercials and did the Come to Victoria Falls song with the Ruvhuvhuto Sisters: Ivy Kombo, the late Jackie Madondo, Plaxedes Wenyika and Fortune Matenga.
“The same time I was involved with Ruvhuvhuto Sisters we toured South Africa. We went to Cape Town and Johannesburg. In 2005 I joined Pax Afro but unfortunately we disbanded in 2006. With Pax Afro, I played keyboards and also did backing vocals on some of the songs.”
Pax Afro was the project of former Information minister Jonathan Moyo and some of its members include Yulith Ndlovu and Isaac Chirwa. The group set the music world on fire with their 26-track double CD, ‘Back2Black’ with the hits ‘Tango Pal’; ‘Let It Play’ and ‘Working Under The Mine’
He is currently working on a 14-track album ‘My Time’.
“I started working on 8 of the songs last year at my studio Pro Vibes. The other 2 I did way back in 2004 at Shed Studios, the other 2 in 2006 again at Shed and 2 more in 2008 at Diamond Studio in Botswana.”
On the album are tracks such as ‘Handibvume’. It is a song that says, ‘handibvume, simba rangu rese richiripo kani handibvume.’ It is a beautiful song that encourages anyone going through negativity.
‘Mari’ is another beautiful track that encourages people to stop concentrating on poverty and start working on how they can earn money.
‘Zimbo Harife’ is a song that says Zimbabweans are resilient and everywhere you go Zimbabweans are known to be intelligent and hard-working.
Other tracks on the album are ‘Ndazvipira’; ‘Gingersnap’; ‘Murume Wangu’; ‘Waenda’ and ‘KuZimbabwe’ among others.
There is a saying, ‘third time is a charmer’. Hopefully, the saying will be true for this resilient Zimbo.