Calls for Chinx’s hero status grow louder
FOUNDER and chairperson of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima), Joseph Nyadzayo said the late revolutionary musician Dickson “Cde Chinx” Chingaira has left a big void in the music industry that the youngsters should fill instantly.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The Vanhu Vose VemuAfrica hitmaker died at a private hospital in Harare on Friday after a long battle with cancer.
He was 61 and is survived by two wives Patricia and Ntombizodwa — and 10 children.
Speaking to NewsDay at Chinx’s funeral wake in Sentosa, Mabelreign, in the capital where mourners are gathered, Nyadzayo said Chinx has left a proud record of patriotism for his country.
“The day has come which is unfortunate that our dear comrade has passed on, but on looking back I think we are parting with him in a kind of pleasant remembrance. We feel we are parting with him well. We recognised that he has simply delivered, as a human being, being patriotic, I think he has delivered well to his country and to us his countrymen,” Nyadzayo said.
“In the music industry, I feel there is a void which the youngsters should rush to fill. He (Chinx) has left such a big void that I hope several of our youngsters will fill. We definitely need conscious artistes in the mould of Cde Chinx, the youngsters should surely rush and fill the void. If we don’t have it filled, music will become just hedonistic for the pleasure of it and I don’t think we can waste such a powerful tool.”
Nyadzayo said music also played a crucial role towards the attainment of the country’s independence.
“If we look at pre-independent contribution, post-independence and the length of the period, to ask for more, I think will be ungrateful on our part. This is a comrade who has done us proud and we are here to celebrate his achievements which are so unique and I doubt if ever there is going to be anybody who will surpass him. He was there at the right time, we are not going to have a second liberation struggle and his 37 years contribution is a great achievement,” he said.
“Talking to some of the combatants, they will tell you that without songs I am sure most could have lost their minds, they didn’t know when liberation was coming, and they could not find food and clothes so they would sing imagining a Zimbabwe that was not yet with them.”
Nyadzayo said he was happy that Chinx had managed to stay in the new house he donated to him when he won the Chairman’s Award for his immense contribution to the liberation struggle.
“When the rumours of his death broke out some months back I thought God had laughed at me, but God took over and everything went perfectly. I feel I was favoured by God, when I finished the house and when we were going to have the handover ceremony I remember I called upon all Zimbabweans to pray that he be discharged so that I would at least walk through the gate with him,” he said.
“To my surprise he was discharged, not out of our probing, but simply discharged by the doctors and as a result the handover happened and he attended the event. Further to that he lived one and half months in the house, what more can I ask.”
Voices across the spectrum continue to sing for Chinx to be declared a national hero.
The Zanu PF Harare province is also reported to have taken the lead in recommending that Chinx be declared a national hero.
Thomas Mapfumo’s publicist, Blessing Vava, said the music fraternity has lost a giant, true patriot and a revolutionary musician whose music inspired the black majority.
“On behalf of Dr Thomas Mapfumo and Chimurenga Music Company we send our heartfelt condolences to the Chingaira family and the entire nation on the sad loss of Cde Chinx. We salute and honour the selfless sacrifice he made during the war of liberation, using his music to inspire the guerrilla fighters in Mozambique,” he said.
“His was not the gun, but his powerful lyrics oiled the struggle and motivation. We do hope that he will get the honour he deserves as a true national hero of our time. May his soul rest in peace.”
African Roots music exponent and sculptor Bryn Taurai Mteki, popularly known as Sekuru Tau on the showbiz circuit, said Cde Chinx should be buried at the national shrine for his contribution to the arts industry.
“We should at least now show the world that the National Heroes’ Acre is not for politicians, but heroes from across the body. Let’s celebrate the life of our heroes, Cde Chinx is not forgettable, is a true music hero, all the music we sing today came from their generation,” he said.
Afro-jazz sensation, Edith WeUtonga Katiji, said Cde Chinx’s music inspired many musicians and she feels he deserves a national hero status.
“Cde Chinx is a perfect example of the importance of music to a society or nation. It is my wish that one day musicians in Zimbabwe will be granted what is due to them. The struggle continues, may his soul rest in peace.”
Zimbabwe Business and Arts Hub (Zibah) chairperson, Takemore Mazuruse, said Cde Chinx’s passing on is a big loss to the arts fraternity and the nation at large.
“Cde Chinx’s place in the local arts sector is sacrosanct and his contribution to nation building legendary. His music will however continue to inspire generations to come and as Zibah we encourage Zimbabweans to work hard for such rich legacies,” he said.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya-Moyo, yesterday said the ruling party was yet to receive a formal request on Chinx’s heroes’ status.
“The issue of hero’s status is communicated through the secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Chombo said he was yet to receive the request.
“I am out of Harare at the moment, I have not yet seen the request, I am going to Harare today (yesterday) and will see from there,” he said.