Saturday 13 January 2024


AFTER a hectic holiday tour that saw him play to sold-out crowds in Mutare, Chipinge, Chiredzi and Zvishavane, among other places, renowned singer Alick Macheso (pictured) has taken a well-earned rest for the New Year, as had other local musicians.

“Baba Sharo”, as Macheso is affectionately known, has since the beginning of the year, retreated to his farm in Chivhu.

Spending time with family and friends throughout the break is important to him.

The seasoned performer claimed that taking a break in January is a “ritual” that dates back to the days when musicians like the late Leonard Dembo and Nicholas Zakaria ruled the music world.

“For me, it is a kind of a ritual, a tradition. Some people might say that we are not holding shows because the fans do not have money, but this is not the case.

“If I was to perform, say this weekend, I will bet that the venue will be filled to the rafters,” Macheso, who was speaking through Tich Makahamadze, his manager, said.

He said it is “taboo” for him and other local musicians to hold live shows in January.

“The late James Chimombe and Leonard Dembo also did the same. They would never perform in January.

“This has nothing to do with people having money or not,” he added.

At the farm, Macheso, who took with him his family and relatives, is growing maize and rearing cattle. He said he was not “in a hurry” to return to the stage.

“During the festive season, we pocketed a bit of money that will sustain us during the month.

“I would want to thank my fans for supporting us. Otherwise, we would have been toiling day and night,” Macheso said.

The Orchestra Mberikwazvo frontman is also using the long break to fine-tune the new album that he is currently working on.

The eagerly-anticipated album is set to be released on June 7.

At his tobacco farm in Mhangura, Mark Ngwazi is also cultivating tobacco, apparently following Macheso’s lead.

Ngwazi said by not performing in January, he was simply following a tradition.

“As you might be aware, traditional healers do not attend to their clients during certain months. This is the same with us musicians, we do not perform in January,” he said.

Fellow musicians Romeo Gasa and Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria urged other musicians to observe this tradition of taking a break in January.

“To be honest with you, I do not know how this came about. I am urging my fellow musicians to observe such unwritten taboos,” Zakaria said. Sunday Mail


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