Daiton’s voice will forever be missed

Takawira Dapi

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Daiton (right) with photographer Takawira Dapi aka Photovet

Daiton (right) with photographer Takawira Dapi aka Photovet

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THEIR sound was unmistakable but for them, the journey was not rosy.

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Theirs was a combination of effort and talent — with Daiton on vocals and Josphat specialising on instrumentation — they complemented each other.

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Daiton Somanje became a household name and conquered the local music scene with the help of his brother Josphat, an equally gifted musician in his own right.

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Their group, Pengaudzoke left a mark on the local entertainment scene with a unique sound that mesmerised sungura fans for many years before they split.

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It is quite sad to say that Daiton has gone to the afterlife, may his soul rest in eternal peace.

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I first met and watched Daiton in action in 1990 at the Jenaguru Festival at Gwanzura Stadium and if I recall well, he performed just after Marshal Munhumumwe.

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After the performance, I remember standing with Daiton and (Innocent) Mujintu while Sekuru Gweshe was preparing to go on stage and he was sprinkling salt on stage claiming that it made the music sound better, of course, we knew it was a juju thing.

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From then on, with my profession as a photo journalist as well as a Pengaudzoke fan, I was following their music and developed both a professional and personal relationship with the two brothers, Daiton and Josphat.

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Their music was so good that even some of our top musicians like Alick Macheso and the late Simon Chimbetu played it in their cars.

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I remember this other day I was with Daiton before a show at Saratoga and we did not have money but we wanted to eat sadza so we ended up buying and sharing one plate.

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Besides taking pictures, I am also a musician and Daiton is one of the people who always gave me tips about the trade and what I needed to do so as to improve my sound.

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He told me that their music was original because they had chosen to stick to the sound they had started with while they were still using makeshift guitars.

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At one point he told me that he felt like he was possessed every time he went on stage and would only realise that he had been performing after he had actually finished his set. After that I started seeing him as a spiritual person.

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Daiton was a humble person that I saw as the champion of the poor section of society. I attended one of their shows at Sports Dinner and I asked him why he was dressed shabbily despite the fact that he was performing in an upmarket venue. He told me most of his fans came from poor backgrounds so there was no reason for his dressing to differ from that of his fans.

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Every time one exchanged words with Daiton they would quickly realise how much he sympathised with the poor man.

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When I am with an artiste most of the times I am not trying to gather news but in fact, I will be absorbing as much wisdom as I can and Daiton is one of those artistes who always had something constructive to say.

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I can confirm that Daiton adored and lived for the opposite sex — they made his world go round. At one time he told me that a home was not complete without a loving woman in it.

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During the days their group split, I jokingly told him that people were saying they had split because they were accusing each other of witchcraft. He did not give me a straight answer and I left it at that.

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When he became ill I had a meeting with one of his cousins with the plan to manage their group. I wanted to come up with a strategy to bring Daiton and Josphat back together. Daiton saw it as a bad idea since they already had family problems.

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Daiton’s death has been too painful to handle.

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I first got the news on a WhatsApp group while I was at another funeral in Hwedza and I could not believe it until I confirmed the news with friend and fellow journalist Terrence Mapurisana.

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His voice will forever be missed in the music industry.

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Goodbye my friend.