Legendary gospel musician, Mechanic Manyeruke, affectionately known as Baba Manyeruke, yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare to inform him that he was retiring from the music industry.
In an interview after a closed-door meeting with the President, the “Makorokoto” and “Madhimoni” hitmaker said he had decided to call time on his illustrious music career.
Henceforth, Baba Manyeruke said he would now focus on farming activities as he was still energetic.
The veteran gospel musician also revealed that he was born almost exactly a month before President Mnangagwa was born.
“I was born on August 16, 1942, and he was born in September. I am the older one and our age difference is almost exactly a month.
“I had come to inform the President that I am retiring from music. I cannot keep on performing together with the younger and more energetic generation, but I will be coming to perform at national events and other auspicious occasions.
“As long as I am alive, I will be dedicating my time elsewhere. I still have the energy like that of a young boy so I will spend time tilling the land.
“He accepted my retirement, but he had reservations because he thought he was older than me,” said Baba Manyeruke.
While chronicling the secret behind his long life and source of youthful energy, the 81-year-old said the Lord had sustained him, something the younger generation did not quite appreciate.
“What happens is that when we are thanking and praising the Lord for long life, people think that we are doing jokes.
“But when we thank the Lord, we mean sustain me until the age you want me to reach and then as a servant you accept being kept by the Lord because, for example, if you safeguard your job it will definitely sustain you,” he said.
Baba Manyeruke also gave advice to the upcoming crop of musicians, saying being humble was the key to a successful career.
“I would like to encourage the younger generation of singers to be humble because being boastful will not take you anywhere. You should always be accommodating because the people and fans are the ones who have your blessings so people should never look down on people.
“It does not matter what genre of music you sing, just be a welcoming and accommodating person, do not make people angry at you or make them hate you,” he said.
President Mnangagwa is on record as emphasising the importance of those who further the Gospel, whether through song or preaching the word of God.
“We must all be good stewards over the nation of Zimbabwe which was given to us by God and work hard with wisdom to realise our national development aspirations and Vision 2030.
“Furthermore, according to Proverbs 21 verse 21, ‘. . . whoever pursues righteousness and love, finds life, prosperity and honour’.”
“After all, God in the book of Genesis, instructed us ‘to be fruitful’. Congregants in our churches must be encouraged to occupy the space through productive endeavours in the various sectors of the economy. Jehovah akati tichadya cheziya, naizvozvo, anokomborera mabasa emawoko edu.
“So we must work, we must be productive,” said the President at a church gathering earlier this year.