News from Zimbabwe…
By Kumbirayi Shoniwa, The Herald
Singleton Takaruza , a mbira player who made headlines in 1995 as the youngest artiste to wow crowds at only three years old, is back on the limelight with a new offering called “Nguva”.
Although his late father, Simon Takaruza, had been a mbira player for some time, he was surprised one day in 1993 when he chanced upon the child playing the instrument and singing songs he had composed all by himself.
In 2000 the boy surprised people when he was included in the line up of performers at the Ray of Hope Gala which included Oliver Mtukudzi, Busi Ncube, Mateo and Friends and Mechanic Manyeruke.
From there the young mbira prodigy joined up with his older brothers Seaton and Slovern and formed Africa Unite Mbira Group, which was changed to Pasi Vanhu Mbira Group led by Takesure Muronzi receiving a NAMA nomination in 2002.
The group transformed itself again in 2010 into Nerwande Mbira Group which comprised of the Takaruza brothers and Munyaradzi and Learnmore Chikumbirike.
They released a six-track album called “Ngoma Dzepasi” which received airplay on local radio with songs like “Garika Zvako”, “Dande” and “Rega Kuchema” getting special mention.
The group has been holding performances around the country ever since culminating in the latest offering which is due to be officially launched in early 2014.
Singleton is not only a mbira player, but can also make the instrument, tune it up and is also a teacher to those willing to learn.
“I have been playing mbira ever since I can remember and I believe it is a gift which comes from God and my ancestors.
“Right now I believe it is now time for the country to listen to our message of hope and prosperity which I believe the people should hear,” he said.