Great send off for Somanje

Musicians Pastor Charles Charamba (left), Leonard Zhakata and Bob Nyabinde ( right) at Somanje's funeral

Musicians Pastor Charles Charamba (left), Leonard Zhakata and Bob Nyabinde ( right) at Somanje’s funeral

Tawanda Marwizi in Marondera
When the body of sungura musician Daiton Somanje arrived at his home in Museve Street in Marondera yesterday around 10am, scores of people came from the neighbourhood to pay their last respects to their own hero.

His band, Pengaudzoke, was entertaining mourners who had gathered around the tent listening to some of his yesteryear hit songs.

The body was not in usual casket or coffin but in a wrapper they use according their Muslim tradition.

Mourners viewed the body before it was taken to their Islamic church in Cherima, despite earlier announcement that the musician’s body would be taken to Rhudhaka Stadium for a brief service.

Relatives of Somanje said they had cancelled the service because the local authorities said the stadium was under renovation.

At the church service people gave their accounts about the musician’s life and encouraged his eldest son Faheem to take over his legacy.

“He was one of the first musicians to join Zimbabwe Music Rights Association and we have worked with him well without any problem,” said Climate Munikwa from ZIMURA.

Muslim elders perform a ritual for Daiton Somanje's body before burial

Muslim elders perform a ritual for Daiton Somanje’s body before burial

Several artistes said they have worked with him well and promised to assist the band.

“He was a great musician who had no problem with anyone. We will make sure that his legacy will not die just like that,” said Suluman Chimbetu.

It was during that church service when several musicians Alick Macheso, Leonard Zhakata, Charles Charamba, Nicholas Zakaria, Zakaria Zakaria, Bob Nyabinde, Suluman Chimbetu, Hosiah Chipanga, Albert Nyati, Somandla Ndebele, Kapfupi, Simon Mutambi, Romeo Gasa arrived to pay their last respects to the “Tsaona” hit maker.

Jive Zimbabwe director Benjy Nyandoro, promoter Daniel Masaiti, Diamond Studios officials, representatives from National Arts Council and Zimbabwe Music Rights Association were among mourners.

For close to two hours mourners, fellow musicians gave their testimonies about the musician who died on Tuesday.

Band members were also given time, telling people how they worked with the musician.

After the church service the musician’s body was taken to Meki cemetery where it was laid to rest.

Women were not allowed to go to the grave yard according to the Musilm culture.