Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
Three days before the late Daiton Somanje was admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Diamond Studios artistes and repertoire manager John Muroyi visited the musician at his Dzivarasekwa lodgings to discuss about his new album.According to Muroyi, the two had a long chat and agreed that his finished album would be released a week later.
It was unfortunate that the musician got hospitalised and died before the album was released.
Somanje succumbed to meningitis on April 7.
Last Saturday, Diamond Studios posthumously released the album, which is titled “Makumborenga” and Muroyi says the project could have been done earlier.
“He started to record the album two years back but because of his issues with Last Power Media, we could not release it until he reached an agreement with Alick Macheso (Last Power co-director),” said Muroyi.
Somanje had a contract with Last Power Media and it took time to terminate it because the studio had suspended operations.
Muroyi said they had agreed to launch the album just after its release and Somanje was optimistic that the project would rescue his waning career.
However, it seems Somanje had a feeling that his health would fail as evidenced by the lyrics in the title track when he bids a child farewell.
“Makumborenga mwanangu ndakuenda…hurwere uhwu hwakomba, ndakuenda (my child I am going. . . this disease is too strong, I am leaving,” go the lyrics in part.
Muroyi said the musician wanted his eldest son Faheem to have two songs on the album.
“Faheem had already done the songs but he suggested that we remove them from the final product so that music lovers would celebrate his father’s life through this album,” said Muroyi.
Other songs on the five-track album are “Medzu Medzu”, “Mashura”, “Varikumhepo” and “Samatenga”.
Muroyi said the musician’s legacy lives on and many people have bought the album over the past three days.
“The sales of the album are high confirming how his legacy would live for years,” he said.
Faheem said they agreed with the studio to release the album.
“They called me to make deliberations on the album and we agreed,” he said.
“He worked on that album for two years but it was just unfortunate that Diamond Studios finished it in his last days,” he said.
He said he had removed his songs from the album to give people a complete farewell package from his father.
“It is good for people to listen to the songs as they remember him. My album is coming, but on this one I felt people should enjoy his music as they celebrate his life and works,” he said.
In the song “Medzu Medzu” Somanje confronts a friend who is selfish and equates him to a person who ‘swallows’ a ball when others want to play. “Mashura” is about a mystery that vexes a family.
The musician urges the family to conduct a traditional ritual as usual instead of going on a witch-hunt.
“Endai munopira semazuva ose. Musatsvaka muroyi, musaenda kun’anga,” Somanje sings.
In the track “Varikumhepo” the musician pleads with ancestors to intervene in hard times.
The lyrics present an allegory of grains that are destroyed by birds and the musician presents a really tough situation when he says his crops are yielding stones.
The last track, “Samatenga” is a prayer to God to bring the rains because people are suffering due to hunger and poverty..