Wednesday, 20 December 2017

STROKE SURVIVOR MATSITO : I WILL DIE ON STAGE

Sungura musician Tedious Matsito is a brave fighter. Despite his amputated leg and a mild stroke that he suffered recently, the musician says he will pull himself up the stage and let his talent fight the weak body.

He has been suffering for a long time, but says the pain has made him stronger. Promoters that used to make money from his shows when he was still active are now shunning him because of his condition.

Sometimes he pleads for help from well-wishers to make ends meet and he is like a pale shadow of the hitmaker who shook the industry with songs like “Nyaradzo”, “Gede Mwana” and “Manyepo”. Memories of the good old days make him wonder why misfortune wants him to die a pauper and he has refused to give in. He has vowed to fight like a bull as long as he can still gather some strength to be on stage.

Like some artistes before him that include Leonard Dembo, Cephas Mashakada and Tongai Moyo that fought bitter battles with their failing health on stage, Matsito says he will not give up. He has a family to fend for and a passion that pushes him, giving him sleepless nights when he remembers fully-packed Ngwenya Brothers shows in Harare, Shurungwi, Muzarabani, Mt Darwin and Checheche among other areas they toured.

When he watches some videos of the shows, his heart hurts and he feels like leaping from his seat and shout at the misfortunes that have condemned him to his current state. Unfortunately, he cannot leap anymore.

All he can do now is to let the memories inject some energy into his body. Energy to pull himself up with the assistance of his clutches. Energy to call some promoters and fellow artistes to convince them that he still deserves a share of stage time despite his ailment.
The energy does not come easily because it is often suppressed by the fear that he will be disappointed further when his companions in the industry openly tell him that they can no longer accommodate him or give him a diplomatic cold shoulder.

Brave fighters do not give up. They stand on their last limb and call for another battle. Matsito is one of them. He is claiming his space on stage. Friendly promoters and artistes have given him the chance. One of the promoters is David Mudzudzu of Joy Centre who often invites Matsito to his joint. Sometimes when his health keeps him in his bed, his band Ngwenya Brothers goes it alone.
But when he gathers the energy, Matsito gets up the stage at Joy Centre and shows people that passion can conquer any pain. Mudzudzu says sometimes he suggests to assist the musician without getting him to pull himself to the stage. Matsito says he does not want to be a complete charity case. He wants to work like any other man. He still wants to taste the sweetness in that sour sweat.

Of course things are no longer the same. The disappointment of seeing people cheering him up when he can no longer do his stage antics as before sometimes make him feel they are doing it out of mere sympathy than excitement. Sometimes he feels helpless, but the fans keep cheering him on as the night wears on. After the show, Matsito feels relieved from realisation that he has done what his heart bleeds for — being on stage and making people happy.

“It is not easy because my body is no longer the same. Sometimes I feel like shedding tears when I realise that I no longer have the energy that I was known for. Such is life, we go through different paths and sometimes things do not go according to plan. Still, we have to soldier on,” said Matsito.

“Sometimes I dream dancing wildly on stage and sending fans into frenzy. I dream of multitudes of fans clapping and ululating at my energetic act. Dreams will always be dreams. Reality will be with me when I wake up, but those dreams inspire me to keep working with the limited energy that I now have. I cannot stop working.

“The stage is my workplace. Even if it means dying on stage, I am prepared. This is the profession I have known throughout my life. People know Tedious Matsito because of music. People know Ngwenya Brothers because of hits and performances. Yes, it is no longer the same physically but the passion is still there. That passion will never die.”
Mudzudzu says he is surprised by Matsito’s passion and perseverance.

“I once advised him to rest and said we could find ways of assisting him as we work with his Ngwenya Brothers. He said he still wants to be on stage. He said he will only leave the stage when he dies or is bedridden. He has so much passion. He is a hard worker and we have been hosting him at our venue. People still enjoy his performance,” said Mudzudzu.

Another promoter who has been supportive to Matsito is Daniel Masaiti who runs Legends Sports Diner in Marondera. Next Monday Matsito will be performing alongside Alick Macheso at Legends Sports Dinner. Masaiti said working with Matsito makes him realise the power of passion.

“I have worked with him on several occasions. He defies his condition and says people should not feel sorry for him because he is still able to do some things for himself. He says he only asks for help when his situation corners him, but he prefers toiling for himself in that condition. We cannot help feeling sorry for him because he visibly struggles at times,” said Masaiti.

“We will keep hosting him at our venue when he requests for a chance. We will assist him in many other ways so that he does not feel let down. Misfortune can befall anyone and we should always assist each other.

“Ngwenya Brothers did well in providing entertainment to Zimbabweans, so if we do not give them assistance we will be very unfair. So far I am happy that he is recovering,” he said.
He said he spoke to the musician last week and he insisted he wanted to share stage with Macheso.

“I will make sure he works with other musicians at our place. Apart from that, I am doing my best to get him assisted,” he said.

Macheso says he admires Matsito’s talent and knows that passion for the stage will always burn in him.

“I think you remember how Ngwenya Brothers and Khiama Boys steered the industry some years back. When I was at Khiama, Ngwenya Brothers was a formidable force and we had great competition in the industry. Their work made us work harder and we also shared a lot as fellow musicians. The relationship has come a long way,” said Macheso.

“We are going to Marondera together next Monday and we know people will like our combination. It is sad that Tedious now has a physical challenge, but I like the way he soldiers on. He does not let his condition pin him down, he allows his heart to strengthen him.” Herald

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