Once-famous musician, Patrick Mukwamba, 70, is steadily fading into obscurity.
Mukwamba, who captured the imagination of the nation with the 1984 hit, Wapenga Nayo Bonus, is now a far cry from the star who was routinely mobbed by adoring fans three decades ago.
So bad is the situation that the Wapenga Nayo Bonus hit-maker is banking on his just-released single — Mafaro Kubhawa — to somehow do wonders for him.
“All is not well for me. I am currently working for a Rusape-based company but my wage is very very low. My weekly wage is $25 which adds up to $100 a month.
“Though my weekly wage is too low, I haven’t been able to quit because I have no options at all. The money I am getting from my employer is not even enough to cater for my needs that is why I am hopeful that the new single will win over music fans,”
Mafaro Kubhawa is a follow up to another recent single titled Hupenyu Hwangu on which he featured Steve “Dhongi” Makoni’s sister, Lady Sai Sai.
He added that it took him ages to raise the money to pay for studio time.
“The tracks were recorded at Impact Studios in Harare. I have toiled for months to raise $50 which I used to record the songs. Actually, I wanted to record a full album but only to be told that recording studio charges were pegged at $50 per song. However, they allowed me to record two songs for $50 after I had pleaded with them,” said Mukwamba.
The 70-year-old artiste has been encouraged by the air play Hupenyu Hwangu is receiving.
“Radio stations are doing a good job in promoting my single and even the feedback I am getting from fans is overwhelming and encouraging,” he told the Daily News.
Though he is now aged 70, Mukwamba believes his vocal prowess is still as good as it was when he dropped Wapenga Nayo Bonus in 1984.
“My voice will never age I am very sure of that. When on stage, I feel like I am just 16,” he said.
Apart from Wapenga Nayo Bonus, Mukwamba also released hits such as Mombe Yehumai; Ramba Murume (Chingoto), Vambozha Vauya and Usambonyara Kusekwa (Mabhodhoro) among others.
The veteran musician, who claimed he bought a house in Chitungwiza in 1978 from music royalties, has been disappointed by the songs being composed by the new generation of artistes.
“Nowadays, one can release up to 30 albums without anything meaningful. During my heyday, musicians really composed great songs,” said Mukwamba, whose music journey can be traced back to 1968.