BY GILBERT MUNETSI
Obert Tongai Moyo Jnr has taken the gloves off for a bare-fisted brawl with his elder brother Peter after he recently released a single titled Cain and Abel.
Plucked from the biblical scriptures where two siblings decided to make an offering to God in return for blessings, the deed ended up with Cain killing Abel because his (Abel’s) sacrifice had pleased God as opposed to Cain’s that was rejected.
The release of the song becomes the second round in the Moyo brothers’ feud, whose initial misunderstanding was centred on paternity questions and distribution of their late father’s estate. The song Cain and Abel attracted 23 000 views on the second day of its posting on YouTube.
Tongai Moyo Snr was a polygamist (with five customarily married wives) and he passed on some years back after battling with cancer. He, however, did not leave a will behind. Among the assets making up the estate are a house in Mbizo, a big stand in Sesombe on the outskirts of Kwekwe, two vehicles and a music kit currently being used by Peter.
There was discontent over the manner in which Peter, as the eldest, allegedly positioned himself as heir and executor, taking over his father’s band — Utakataka Express — and defying some agreements that had earlier been made with regard to the distribution of proceeds from shows. A family consensus had entitled him to 20% of proceeds, while 40% each would go to cover expenses and family needs respectively.
Now it is the release of the song Cain and Abel that is likely to set a new tone to the row that has raged over the years. In a no-holds-barred verbal assault, Tongai Jnr chides and mocks his brother, likening him to Cain.
“Abel akapfumbata rudo; Cain akapfumata hondo…. Tarira iwe uri kuchema negodo, chiona ini ndakagarika murudo,” goes part of the lyrics on this master-piece that is a great improvement from his previous production, Dzinza Rinokosha. The track Cain and Abel is pregnant with the original Utakataka signature and chants, and Obert evidently self-imposes himself as the natural heir to their father’s musical throne.
He claims it was even revealed during their father’s living years that it would be him who would carry the torch in the event of his (father’s) death. Interestingly, he is also using the name Utakataka Express, the same one being used by elder brother Peter, and it remains to be seen if the two do not go the legal route to settle this matter.
Although he could not be reached to comment on the new track, Obert posted a video and message on social media saying:
“Many Utakataka followers have been mourning the death of their beloved band. Tongai [Snr] made me the heir to the throne. People want to see Tongai in me. Look at the haircut, the dance skills, the tooth… I’m a Tongai reincarnate and that is a fact.”
He even challenged Peter to a joint performance.
Comparing the period it took Peter to stand on his own with the help of established musicians like Charles Charamba (who gave him vocal chord lessons) and Alick Macheso who offered him acts on his shows, with the promise that Obert holds, a neutral observer will confirm that the road to stardom may, after all, be shorter for the younger brother. While it took Peter two solid years of surviving on copyrights from their father’s sweat, Obert has opted to lean on former Utakataka Express members and supporters such as Ronnie Mudhindo and Brian Samaita to be his own man.
The dispute between Obert and Peter is similar to that of the Chimbetus and that of Josphat and Daiton Somanje. As the former have since buried the hatchet by holding shows as a family, the same did not happen for Josphat and Daiton who eventually vowed not to listen to reason, but to benefits.