Baba Harare: Man on a mis­sion

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Forestry Commission / People - Ti­nashe Mtero

THE past few years Zim­babwe has wit­nessed an un­prece­dented growth in the num­ber of ven­dors mas­querad­ing as en­trepreneurs and bel­low­ers pre­tend­ing to be mu­si­cians. It is all be­cause of our then mori­bund econ­omy. For many, hope for growth is pinned on ex­trater­res­trial hap­pen­ings and mir­a­cles. But for oth­ers like Baba Harare, hope is in their abil­i­ties.

The man is not a pre­tender and he has not sat on his lau­rels. The for­mer “mu­soja” is lit­er­ally stag­ing a coup with each pass­ing day. It was very brave for Brave­man Chizvino to call it quits at the Third Gen­er­a­tion at a time when his for­mer boss was talk of the town.

Many cri­tiques wrote him off af­ter the re­lease of his other­wise good al­bum which was re­leased for an un­pre­pared mar­ket. To­day it ap­pears Baba Harare did not just have a vision but he had a clear-cut strat­egy of how he will get to the sum­mit of Zim­bab­wean mu­sic.

For all in­tents and pur­pose, this ar­ti­cle is not meant com­pare Baba Harare and Jaj Prayzah (JP) but I guess it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to make some points with­out al­lud­ing to JP.

Lis­ten­ing to Baba Harare’s mu­sic and watch­ing the ac­com­pa­ny­ing videos one is left with no doubt that he is the guy who gave JP’s mu­sic the lay ap­peal. Most of his videos de­pict the life most Zim­bab­weans live, a life of both squalor and laugh­ter.

A life most of us iden­tify with. Of course, it might not be good enough for all those other famed for­eign sta­tions but it read­ies the lo­cal au­di­ence for live shows. Baba Harare gets mu­si­cal re­sources from our tra­di­tional mu­sic mak­ing it very easy to con­nect to his art. “The Rea­son Why” for in­stance is a sim­ple jiti sing-along num­ber and it has torched as storm as an an­them across the board.

The easy-go­ing Baba Harare is just ac­ces­si­ble in per­son and he ap­pears on his videos. Most artistes are let down by their pen­chant for con­trived op­u­lence. Chat­ting with Baba Harare, be it on What­sApp, Face­book or in per­son feels the same. He is a very hum­ble and joc­u­lar char­ac­ter.

Per­haps this hu­mil­ity is pre­cip­i­tated by the fact that he is yet to re­lease a run­away hit? But he is al­ready famed for his gui­tar an­tics. His sig­na­ture lead gui­tar is no­tice­ably miss­ing on this for­mer boss’s new re­leases. I call it the ruoko gwaProg­gie, for it sounds like Progress Chip­fumo had a hand on it. I di­gress a bit. Point is Baba Harare is warm to be around and he per­son­i­fies hunhu.

It is no sur­prise that Baba Harare is one of the busiest artistes in Zim­babwe at the mo­ment. His week­ends are al­ways booked. He has tra­versed around Zim­babwe taking his mu­sic to its real own­ers, the peo­ple. His stage act is a well thought out pre­sen­ta­tion.

He is one of the very few artistes who knows how to per­form a pre­sen­ta­tion. Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Mach­eso Baba Harare is creat­ing and nam­ing dances for his mu­sic. The “mak­ageza here (have you bathed?)” is cur­rently a favourite of show go­ers. I will not do in­jus­tice to the rou­tine by try­ing to ex­plain it. I am how­ever, sure those among us who have wild imag­i­na­tions are won­der­ing kugeza pai? Kugeza sei? Who will blame them af­ter all Baba Harare seems to en­joy gy­rat­ing at every turn that he steps in to dance.

Baba Harare is a worka­holic of sorts. He re­leased two al­bums in one-year, nu­mer­ous videos and he is cur­rently work­ing with Oskid on a song ti­tled “Rwendo Rurefu.”

His work ethic, hu­mil­ity, and a busi­ness acu­men will sure pro­pel Baba Harare at the sum­mit of the Zim­babwe mu­sic in­dus­try. When that day comes we will re­vert to this ar­ti­cle and point out “We saw the Coup com­ing.”

Baba Harare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.