YESTERYEAR music legend John Chibadura succumbed to stress-induced depression coupled with ballooning debts and loneliness, a family friend has said.
Chibadura – arguably one of the biggest pullers in the early 90s – spent the last days of his life in courts of law corridors fighting debt collectors but lost the battle for good on August 4 1999.
He died aged 42 the same year (1999).
In an interview with H-Metro, Chibadura’s family friend and son to yesteryear promoter, Landmine Madongonda said the Tembo Brothers founder died a painful death.
“In the last days of Chibadura, he was very sick and he told me that he was taking Tuberculosis tablets, which he showed me at his New Marlborough apartment along Msasa Avenue.
“He didn’t want people to come close to him at that time as he wanted his privacy at home.
“Many people who visited him trying to help or cheer him up during his last days were turned away and as he was now staying alone most of the times.
“His young kids would come and cook for him but the wife was no longer there,” he said.
Landmine, who is son to the late politician and music promoter Douglas Madongonda, said he was introduced to Chibadura by his late father.
“While Chibadura would not share the secrets with strangers, he was more open to me and he told be deep secrets some of which I will take to my own grave.
“When I visited him at his home to check on his condition on one occasion after driving all the way from Nyanga with bananas and potatoes, Chibadura was a pale shadow of former self and I gave him ZW$20 which was a lot of money then.
“He peeped through my wallet and saw other wads of ZW$20 notes and begged me but I never recovered that money but I could see that he was really a troubled soul,” he said.
Quizzed to share some of the deepest secrets Chibadura told him on death bed, Landmine continued:
“When I entered his bedroom, there were two wardrobes and a cloth synonymous with hunters, jira revavhimi.
“He bluntly told me that he had chased away his wife after he caught her red handed between the sheets bonking another man.
“He said he didn’t want anything to do with the wife because she had cheated on him and he was considering marrying another one had he recovered on time.
“Alas, that was not to be as Chibadura died at a time when we were busy running around trying to save him.”
Besides his alleged marital woes, said Landmine, Chibadura was reportedly drowning in debts incurred during an aborted tour of Mozambique.
“While Chabadura tried to hide under depression, the late singer had a nasty battle with debt collectors.
“He accrued the debts after he toured Mozambique for a couple of weeks where he had hired someone’s truck to carry the instruments.
“He was supposed to pay for all the days he spent with the truck there but some of the shows appeared to have flopped and he returned home swimming in debts.
“The owner of the truck decided to attach his property and all household goods save for what was in his bedroom.
“Chibadura tried to fight back through lawyers but he further lost his musical kit and I don’t know what happened to the house because when he died he was now renting in New Marlborough.
“I think the Mozambican tour affected him a lot because he didn’t want to talk about it.”
Landmine said Chibadura’s death did not come as a shock to him since judging by his deteriorated condition.
“Of course when someone is seriously ill we don’t wish them dead but there are some circumstances that tells you that the person is on death bed.
“After his death, I tried to get hold of the family and assist them revive the mighty Tembo Brothers but I realised that it was not an easy task.”
The Nyanga bred farmer and fellow musician said Chibadura was a very strange and superstitious artiste who might have been using ‘magical’ powers.
“Wherever Chibadura was performing, he was guaranteed of a bumper crowd and at times it would stop raining when clouds have just formed.
“It would only rain after he had finished his shows and to him it was normal but his fans always quested the source of power,” he said.
Landmine said juju use is still there in sport and music even though the topic remains debatable.
“People might deny the use of juju use in showbiz and sport but those things are there for those who believe in them.
“However, in cases where juju is used, it doesn’t end well but in tears.
“In my case, I’m content with what I have and I always put God first in whatever I do in my life,” he added.
To date, Landmine who is backed by the Nyanga based Zenda Brothers, has seven albums to his name.
These comprise Inzwa which was released in 2011, One Out (2012), Zvinowanikwa (2013), Do You Know God (2015), Tariro (2016, PaiNyanga (2018) and Moyo Weshumba featuring Nicholas Zakaria in 2020.
In September this year, Landmine is set to release his eight album titled Jenaguru.
He said he is also working on new videos and hopes to sell his music online.