Liberty Dube Entertainment Correspondent
MUTARE’s entertainment fraternity was this week plunged into mourning following the death of Mutare’s veteran show promoter and Mangenje Night Club owner Kenny Mangenje.
Mangenje, who was fondly known as Mukoma Kenny, was a darling to many. Scores of people from all walks of life on Monday gathered at St Joseph’s cemetery in Sakubva to pay their last respects to a man whose humility, dedication and commitment to the growth of entertainment since early 90s in the eastern border city was exceptional.
Mangenje will be remembered for bringing Chimurenga music guru Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, the late Cephas “Moto Muzhinji” Mashakada, Hohodza Band which was led by Portia Gwanzura, Progress Chipfumo, Andy Brown, System Tazvida and Chazezesa Challengers, Naison Chimbetu, J Bunga and Mbare Boys, Black Saints which was led by the late Paul Phiri as well as Assegai Crew at his night club situated in the sprawling Dangamvura high density suburb.
The Ragga Manyika crew, which was then led by the late Stobbart Chidikano, cut their teeth at the club and they had a regular weekly slot which became popular as days went by. This attracted the attention of the late “SMOKO” godfather Tazvida and Mashakada who became regulars.
Entertainment players interviewed by Weekender Entertainment described the Mukoma Kenny’s departure as a huge loss. Former Hosiah Chipanga’s manager and entertainment consultant Clayton Masekesa said, “The entertainment sector has lost an icon. Kenny Mangenje changed the face of entertainment in Mutare and Manicaland. He invested much in giving top quality entertainment. Mangenje Night Club was a hot spot and entertainment haven for many musicians. He also gave local artistes a platform to showcase their talent. He was a humble, professional and open minded person. He has left a huge gap that will be very difficult to fill. We urge other night club owners and music promoters to emulate Mukoma Kenny’s good deeds and selflessness.”
Veteran deejay who was one of his closest friends in the entertainment circles, DJ Ranga, was at a loss of words. During the burial ceremony, DJ Ranga who brought a PA system comforted mourners with soothing music. “He left as huge void that will never be filled. His passion for entertainment was next to none. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Said Boss Chevat, who was Mukoma Kenny’s friend in the entertainment circles for decades, “I am saddened by the loss. He was a sociable and humble man. Mutare has lost a distinguished citizen who pioneered modern day night clubbing in the ghetto.”
Mukoma Kenny never surrendered! May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.