ONE of Alick Macheso’s drinking partners Munhango Musevenzo still cherishes their youthful days as the best.
Musevenzo, who was born on June 11 June 1970, said he befriended the singer when he was still Nicholas Zakaria’s band member.
“I started to know Alick Macheso when he was still Madzibaba Nicholas Zakaria’s bass guitarist in 1994.
“Then, I was a Chitungwiza Municipality Council Bar cashier.
“Alick Macheso would frequently come to my workplace now and then and that was how I became so close to him and we were still single friends then.
“We would cook sadza together and start to eat together at my work place then whilst drinking,” he said.
Musevenzo recalled how they used to hook up away from his workplace.
“When I was off, we would look for each other since there were no cellphones then, we would pre-arrange where and when exactly to meet and carry over next.
“During his time with Madzibaba Zakaria, his vocal ability and general guitar playing style was unique.
“You would tell that if this guy is to be given a room, he has the potential, not knowing then that he had the potential to be as prosperous as he is today.
“When Madzibaba decided to do away with the Khiama Boys where Macheso used to play, that was when Macheso formed Orchestra Mberikwazvo that was around 1997/8 somewhere there.
“On what caused me to be befriended to Macheso, it was just natural until today.
“He might have seen something in me, or I might have seen something in him, that brought us together.”
On who really Macheso was as a young man regarding his personality, he said:
“Macheso was just a soft guy who loved drinking his Lion Lager Beer before.
“During and after drinking, Macheso was the same, I never witnessed my friend Macheso in any violence in our youthful days, ayisatomira panemheremhere, a thing he used to hate very much and a thing that would make him say bye-bye even before willing to go.”
Musevenzo described Macheso as a true social commentator.
“Macheso was so exciting like he is today, a man of simple but entertaining wisdom.
“Macheso was a humorous person and you needed to tighten your stomach with an elephant belt when you are near him, even today.
“During those days, many people would surround us, and I was a hero being around Macheso, kana doro ndakamborinwiswa.
“Macheso would talk much about his life, how he grew up and I would tell him too about my Masvingo up bringing in Chivi.
“By that time, he was renting an apartment in Seke, Chitungwiza in Unit A.
“We had no girlfriends at that time, if he had some, maybe he would engage them after we had left me behind,” he said.
On their dress code, he smiled and said, “Macheso loved wearing jeans.
“It was very rare seeing him wearing formal like what he is doing today.
“He wanted trainers and t-shirts, he would tuck in his t-Shirt in to his jean trousers and matching takkies, his hair cut was ‘punkie’ style then.
“There was a time when he tried the Chibadura’s Afro permed hair style, but he did not do it for a long time.”
During their youthful years, Musevenzo said the late John Chibadura and Simon Chimbetu were hit-makers.
However, he said Macheso liked Chimbetu.
“Macheso would often openly say I envy Simon Chimbetu’s music.
“When he married Mai Sharo (Nyadzisai Butawo), I was in Zengeza but already doing something else out of the Chitungwiza Municipal Council.
“I cannot say Amai Shero is the one who caused us to stop our interaction when she now married Macheso but it was because I had now engaged in to other businesses hence our busy schedules.”
Asked whether Macheso had told him about his dream of forming his own group in future, he said:
“I never heard Macheso talking about his dreams to form his own band one day.
“He would praise his boss Madzibaba for his rich lyrics and lead guitar playing skills saying it motivated him a lot.
“I think Macheso’s dream was to one day see that Madzibaba’s personal brand and their Khiama Boys brand go beyond any Zimbabwean sound then.
“However, Chopper was Macheso’s pace-setter from how I took his admiration for Dendera then.
“I think that is why even today you hear Macheso advising these Chimbetu boys like Suluman, Douglas, Allan and Tryson to unite and create more new lines.
“Macheso believed and I think he is still believing in Dendera as a tried and tested Zimbabwean traditional brand never to die ever and forever.
“It is another sense in Macheso that shows that Macheso is still not jealous like he used to be with Madzibaba’ Khiama Boys band.”
“Macheso was a reserved person but personally, I think Macheso emotionally formed his Orchestra Mberikwazvo as his prayer to nurse the trauma of being abandoned by Madzibaba who suddenly woke up deciding to pursue another career path as a cross border haulage truck driver.
“It came as a shock for Macheso hence the formation of Orchestra Mberikwazvo.
“Orchetra Mberikwazvo is an ongoing story.”
On that other funniest thing he experienced with Macheso that many of his fans never heard about, Musevenzo said:
“The most exciting day with Macheso was at Nyamutamba when he was shooting his video Sarah.
“We were together during that shooting, the two of us were made to jump into the pool with all our clothes on.
“Imagine Macheso had his big shoes which were in fashion then that after this shooting, I ended up having my pair too.
“The other funny thing now is, today Macheso knows soccer like his guitar strings.
“Today you hear Macheso talking about a player in the division that that player is a Warriors material.
“But funny enough then, I used to often ask Macheso to go for Warriors games during the time of Reinhard Fabisch had his Dream Team, Macheso never accepted to show any interest then.”
On what he dreamt to tell Macheso if he made a breakthrough, Musevenzo continued:
“Yes, it has been always my wish that, one day I would just sit down with him and say, ‘keep that band intact’.
“If your band members are not stubborn, just keep that band intact because if I want to go back like, when he had Zaka Zaka, Nowero Nyazanda, Lucky Mumiriki, Innocent Mijintu, Obert Gomba and himself.
“The group was a completely combined talented unit which cannot be compared with.
“Advising Macheso as my personal long-time friend and is one of my dreams.
“I also dream to advise him to maintain his health, and he should do away, like what he has done, he should completely stop drinking.
“Thirdly, he should be taking Esau and his younger brother (Tatenda) to the studios so that when nature decides on what to do with him, these boys will automatically take over and continue with his traditional sungura legacy.”
On his special message to Macheso’s wife, he was blunt.
“Surely I and my family dream to publicly thank and highly appreciate what Macheso’s wife Amai Shero had played around Macheso until today.
“Thank you Amai Sharo for caring for Macheso with tolerance, unbelievable perseverance and rare humility.
“Yes Macheso is a human being who might have done his mistakes here and there but Amai Sharo never commented about it as if nothing was happening, she is in her own class, she never ran away from Macheso when he briefly married Tafadzwa, she might have fought her war in the bedroom but until today, the world do not even know what really was she doing it, that is why even the Mtukudzi family awarded her for that humanity of a real African God given wife par excellence.
“Mai Shero was always mum about it, I think the organisations to do with women rights must award her for that heroism.
“She is a national hero in the sungura world, imagine she was often coming out holding Tafadzwa’s child, Macheso Junior.
“Amai Shero never complained that Tafadzwa lobola was paid and she was there too.
“Imagine what a God given wife for the whole Macheso clan, she protected the name Macheso and the brand called Orchestra Mberikwazvo. ndomadzimayika aya.”
As Macheso’s long-time friend, he also spoke about his choice of wedding venue if the sungura ace was to wed.
“The wedding if ever it will be held, it should be held in Chitungwiza at Aquatic Complex.
“Do you know that Alick Macheso is the first ever Zimbabwean musician to fully pack Zimbabwe’s Chitungwiza Aquatic’s Olympic Games Hall since its construction for All Africa Games in 1995, during his hit album Zvakanaka Zvakadaro launch?” proudly asked Munhango.