‘Mebo’ pushes Chari into the limelight

THE trending melodious song, Mebo, is almost reaching anthem status and has dominated conversations among music lovers since last year.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

From left: Petronella Kupeyaveya(mebo), Darlington Chari, Obert Chari, Emmanuel Chinhengo and Nomagugu Sibanda

The man behind the song, ZCC Hakireni Stars frontman Obert Chari (32), believes the hitherto largely inauspicious group has hit a purple patch — what with other trending tracks: Ngoma Yemugidhi and Gombo?

The rare vocalist has an easily identifiable voice: melodic and with just the right amount of grit to convey the honesty of his thought-provoking and touching lyrics.

A fabulous storyteller, Chari told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style that he writes from personal experiences and self-reflection, which brings with it an inescapable sense of honesty.

The sense of sadness and loss at times rivals the finest efforts from the genre of gothic music.

Chari’s hit-song, Mebo, has seen him shooting to stardom almost overnight like a meteor. The song is about a poor young man who falls in love with a town girl with better economic fortunes and seeks to explain to her the essence of true love, he is able to offer her regardless of his shallow pockets.

A devoted Christian with a Zionist orientation, Chari said he realised his talent in 2012 after attending a Defe Dopota Church gathering where he did a song with his choir. Zion Christian Church (ZCC) leader Nehemiah Mutendi was touched by the lyrics and urged him to record his music.

Chari said after the encouragement, he recorded his debut album, Ngoma Yababa. This marked the beginning of his journey in music. Hitting the airwaves did not come easy and quick, and his family was very sceptical about the new venture.

“It was difficult trying to do two things at the same time because on the one hand, I wanted to read and on the other, I wanted to do music. I was the first person in my family to do music, so they were wondering about all that,” he said.

The soft-spoken Chari, who holds a degree in African Languages and Culture from Midlands State University, did his schooling in Bikita, Masvingo province, before moving to Chegutu in 2010.

Currently, the musician has three albums under his belt — Ngoma Yababa, Vaporofita Venhema and Mariyambutsa.

Chari said he had no problem with performing in beerhalls and nightclubs because those were the haunts of people he would want to draw to Christ.

“Some of our fans are within the church and others don’t come to church, so we go to beerhalls to preach to them the good news of Christ. The word of God must be preached in beerhalls, too,” he said.

The 13-minute track, Mebo, said Chari, was inspired by his wife, Marble although she is not the young woman who plays the character in the video — who has become a hit, especially with male fans.

The young woman, added Chari, was their churchmate Petronella Kupeyaveya.

Turning to the future, Chari said they wanted to reach for the stars.

“We are looking forward as brand Hakireni Stars to reach the uppermost limit, so that people will get the music that gives them comfort,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to his fans who voted for the song so that it clinches top position on National FM Zim, 24 on Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 as well as on ZTV top 50 videos for 2018.

The song, which runs for 13 minutes is already gaining reasonable attention since it was uploaded online with two other tracks in April, and is enough to assert Chari as a star.

The three tracks — Mebo, Ngoma Yemugidhi, and Gombo — which all have the same sungura and ZCC drum and trumpet influence, have gained a combined 245 000 views on YouTube.