The heir apparent to the Barura Music throne, Tendai Dembo, says his forthcoming project, a six-track album, is a reflection of his father’s legacy.
Dembo is slowly fitting well into his late father Leonard’s shoes, which has endeared him with Barura Music fans who have “anointed” him successor to the throne.
With two albums under his belt, Dembo believes his third offering is a carryover of his father’s heirloom and a replication of Barura Music.
“My father died on April 9 and the month of April is dedicated to him,” Dembo told Standard Style last Tuesday.
“I have finished working on my third album which I am yet to name, and it carries six tracks — Asi Chii Nhai, Changu, Mupi Wemazano, Sorry Dhiya Wangu, Chemedzai and Rufu.”
The youthful singer, whose father died when he was aged seven years, said April was dedicated to the late singer, hence his decision to release the album that month.
“As a family, we dedicate the month of April to our father and I am taking this opportunity to launch my album on April 12 at Eastpoint [formerly Jazz 105],” he said.
“Apart from the launch of the album, we have so much in store with regard to celebrating the life of the great Leonard ‘Musorowenyoka’ Dembo. We will be showing documentaries and videos of some of his work.”
Dembo described his forthcoming album as inspired by love, but would also be a reflection of life in general.
“Life is full of disappointments, but there are also moments of happiness. This is what my forthcoming album is talking about,” Dembo said.
“The song, Mupi Wemazano, which has a traditional beat as in tracks such as Musha Rudzii? and Wada Nen’anga, is dedicated to my father. He was a fountain of advice and guidance, but in his absence we have turned to God for guidance and advice.”
Dembo said on the song Rufu, which he believes will smash charts, he was making a plea to God to at least spare breadwinners.
“Death is inevitable and does not choose the rich or poor, but I just feel that it pains the most when families lose breadwinners,” he said.
Dembo has managed to keep the group Barura Express intact over the years and he dedicates the song Changu to the outfit.
“Consistency has paid off for Barura Express. We are now a family and we believe in team work. Our products are coming out as a result of unity in the band. We have moved together despite the hurdles along the way and Changu is a dedication to the team,” he said.
He said the other three tracks asi Chii Nhai, Sorry Dhiya Wangu and Chemedzai were inspired by love.
Dembo released his first solo project, an album titled Kupakwashe, in 2014 before releasing his second offering, Mushando, two years later. He says he now wants to follow his father’s way of doing business.
“It’s high time I did what my father used to do. Fans should look forward to another album later this year,” he said.
“God permitting, I am looking forward to a future where I would release as many albums as possible. I want my music to shape society, just like what my father’s music did.”
Dembo, who alongside his brother Morgan released their debut album Kutsika Matsimba in 2013, says he is yet to reach his zenith, but he believes he has made great strides since joining the music industry in 2007.
“My music, especially my last album Mushando, received rave reviews across several national radio stations. One of the songs from the album, Enia, was voted among the top 10 songs on Radio Zimbabwe in 2017,” he said.
“As a group, we have managed to keep our heads above water despite the prevailing economic challenges. We have managed to get sponsorship; we have our own pa system and truck, thanks to Dr Johannes Marisa who bought these items for us.
“Barura Express has performed in South Africa and drc, which shows that promoters have faith in the outfit. We hope to keep the brand afloat as to get more foreign tours.
“I hope to reach my fans throughout the country with a nationwide tour that is coming shortly after the album launch.”
Tendai and Morgan ventured into music in 2007 having gone through apprenticeship at the hands of sungura ace Alick Macheso. Six years later, the brothers released Kutsika Matsimba before they went their separate ways a year later..
Mushando and the forthcoming album were both produced by the legendary Bothwell Nyamhondera.
Marisa, who runs Westview Medical Clinics, said he was pleased that Dembo had “resurrected” Barura Music.
“I grew up listening to Leonard Dembo’s music that when he died in 1996, I couldn’t eat food for three days. I am happy that Tendai has taken over and is keeping his father’s legacy alive,” Marisa said.
“I will keep on supporting him. I will help him achieve his goals, which include keeping his father’s legacy alive”.
Marisa, who three years ago donated a car — a Mercedes-Benz ML — to Dembo, vowed to maintain his association with Barura Express.
“Apart from supporting Tendai, I take care of the entire group’s welfare. Members of the group get free medical assistance from my health institutions and we pay rentals for them,” he said.