HomeStandard StyleIn the Groove: Macheso 12th album review

In the Groove: Macheso 12th album review

Alick Macheso or Baba Shero as some fans would prefer to call him, never stops to amaze me. He turned 54 on June 10 and Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex was burning with fire. This coincided with his new album launch titled Tinosvitswa Nashe.

Of course, Macheso has still a lot of things going for him. He is a very handsome man. He is a great songwriter. He can play the bass very well and he still has a lot of energy. One cannot take that away from him, but imagine, 11 years from now, at 65, when he becomes an ugly, bald, wrinkled, fat-arced, grey haired and decrepit Macheso. You will be saying to yourself, ‘Oh, what a transformation from the guy who used to do all those moves during the Orchestra Mberikwazvo hey-days!’ So let us allow him to burn all the energy he has got while he is still able to do so.

Alick Macheso, arguably, ‘The King of Sungura and Borrowdale/Kochekera dance’, was born on the June 10 in 1968.

He is one of Zimbabwe’s most successful singers and ranked among the best bass guitarists on the continent. He is Zimbabwe’s best-ever selling artiste with his album Simbaradzo being the highest ever sold album in Zimbabwe. Macheso is arguably the best sungura artiste to ever emerge from Zimbabwe.

On June 10, the Aquatic Complex was filled to the brim when music lovers graced the venue from all over Zimbabwe.

The release of his new album, Tinosvitswa Nashe coincided with his 54th birthday celebrations, and also marked the 24th anniversary of Macheso’s band, Orchestra Mberikwazvo.

He has come up with a new six-track album in 2022, simply titled:  Tinosvitswa Nashe

The six-track offering was recorded at Alema Studios in Chitungwiza with the veteran singer holding a mini-launch at Rainbow Towers in Harare. The firsts track, Tinosvitswa Nashe is in my opinion the masterpiece. Here with his Orchestra Mberikwazvo, he sings Baba Tiyamureyi Nguva Yacho Yakaoma. Zvinotorema kuzvitsanangura.

Other songs on the album include Makazvivanepi, here Macheso describes this song as: “This is Chesology” I have studied Psychology and Sociology but these musicians are coming up with new termilogy for our music. That is great.

The next song, Kuratidzirana,  comes with a fiery Macheso rhythm and anyone who is in the mood for the Borrowdale Dance is in for a big surprise. Nzendo Dzirefu talks about the long journey one has to travel in order to achieve his/her goals. Impfa Nimulandi, is an icing on the cake as Macheso shows of his different linguistic styles Munhu Mumwe and Ndimi Vanhu Vacho are typical Macheso sungura beats typifying Macheso at his best.

Macheso performed alongside fellow artists Sulumani Chimbetu, Leonard Zhakata, Selmor Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah and Freeman. It was a big event indeed.

Many Macheso followers were impressed by this latest release. Here are a few comments:

Shephered Mutero commenting from the UK had this to say: “Macheso Uri Chibaba. Thank you.

Washington Garanewako from Ukraine (I don’t know why he is still in that war-torn country) simply stated “Fantastic!”:

Dennias Murangari commented: “Makanyanyisa Baba Shero.”

Mabazikio T Muchero from Mozambique: “You are simply the king” and Spiwe Miti listening from Nampula. You are the greatest.

Misheck Kahwema from Harare: “Makaipa King.”

Innocent Mdanhira says: “Like a good pharmacy, Baba Shero you dispense enough treatment kusvikandanakirwa.”

Eddison Chorwadza simply states:  “Well done Baba Shero. I am beginning to make sense of this music”.

Mr Makoni says: “Macheso you are always on point, movbing with time. Haters can’t stop  you”.

However there was one musician who did not seem to be impressed by Macheso’s latest offering. This is what he had to say: “The mixing was poor; the sound quality could have improved

I have listened to Macheso’s past offerings such as Magariro and in my opinion, they were more polished. If this is true could the change of studios from Diamond to Alema Studios in Chitungwiza be the reason? I don’t see the differences bot everyone is titled to their opinion.

Tinosvitswa Nashe is available for streaming and downloads on various digital platforms. The project was co-produced by Macheso, Bothwell Nyamhondera and Arron Tom.

Before the launch in Chitungwiza, Macheso’s publicist Tich Makahamadze told local media on June 9: “We have noticed that we have some of our fans who can’t make it  to the launch in Chitungwiza, hence this dinner [at Rainbow Towers] is for them.

“It is one of the initiatives we thought of and decided to do, moving with trends and trying to re-brand the artist and his band.”

“The proceeds raised will go towards the welfare of the band among other needs. What people don’t know is that besides Macheso being a big brand, there are some philanthropic works he is also doing like taking care of several families and the less privileged.”

Macheso’s last single release was Zuro Ndizuro in 2020. Before that, he released the album Dzinosvitsa Kure in 2018.

He was born in Shamva, central Zimbabwe, and sings in Shona, Chichewa, Sena, Venda and Lingala. He grew up on the farms and left for the capital Harare at the invitation of fellow singer and relative Nicholas Zacharia, who had been impressed with his guitar skills.

The two embarked on a musical journey and joined several bands, mostly sungura outfits.

In 1997, Macheso broke ranks with Zacharia to form his own Orchestra Mberikwazvo. He is well known throughout southern Africa as one of the region’s most prolific singers and is ranked amongst the top bass guitarists on the continent.

Macheso’s song writing is at its best when he homes in on just being another dude from the block with his own set of problems. On Makazvivanepi,” the tug-of-war between old and new thinking manifests in the banal. The subject matter isn’t much different from other Macheso projects, but there are enough new variations to keep his thoughts fresh.  With his solid bass licks,it looks like we are here to live with Cheso Power forever.

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