Afro jazz artiste Ngulube laid to rest in Harare
Zimbabwe’s late veteran afro jazz artiste, Dumisani Ngulube, who died in Chiweshe on Monday, was buried at the Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare. Amagents was billed to pay its last respects to its front man through a live performance last night.
Family spokesman Sibangani Shava said a lot of artistes from all over the country were coming to pay their condolences at the late Dumi’s home in Westlea, Harare. Among these were Elijah Madzikatire, Albert Nyathi and the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu who was scheduled to attend.
The late jazz maestro cut his musical teeth at Zimbabwe’s home of arts, Amakhosi Theatre Cultural Centre in Makokoba. “Dumi came to Amakhosi when he was a 14-year-old boy. He looked talented, but neglected and came from the dusty suburb of Mzilikazi.
“All he wanted was to be a jazz musician. He played marimba with the ability of a genius and he aspired to be like Hugh Masekela and I told him that to be like Masekela you should train and that is how our relationship developed,” said Cont Mhlanga, the artistic director of Amakhosi Trust.
Mhlanga also said he was shocked to hear of Dumi’s death and was short of words as to how such talent could go so soon.
“He was a very disciplined, dedicated and committed boy. I’m very shocked and saddened by his death. I did not know that his life and talent would be so short, I actually saw the next Hugh Masekela (in him), my world just comes crumbling like a deck of cards,” said Mhlanga remorsefully.
Mhlanga lamented the death of Ngulube and said they were the signs that good musicians were slowly dwindling with the industry likely to remain masqueraders and imposters.
“In the league of Dumi I will put Sam Mtukudzi, Don Gumbo, Don Gumbo Junior and Tendai Manatsa, they are just different from the rest of their counterparts abatshona bedlalela erediyweni (musicians who do not take national radio seriously and use it as their playing ground). And unlike the rest of them they know how to play music instruments unlike imposters who use synthesised music created by sound engineers and they start claiming to be musicians. You cannot claim to be a musician when you cannot play not even one musical instrument,” said Mhlanga angrily.
Dumi had relocated to the capital.
“Dumi together with Clayton Ndlovu were seconded by myself to go and learn Ethnomusicology. After completion of the course they came back to Bulawayo but there was a shortage of Ethnomusicology teachers at the college so they had to go back and teach, that is how they relocated to Harare. But I reminded him that his dream was to be like Hugh Masekela and that is when he formed Dumi and AmaGents,” he said.
His untimely death comes as a shock to the music industry and the country at large especially coming hard on the heels of the death of another fine jazz musician Sam Mtukudzi. At the time of his death Dumi was a part-time lecturer at the Zimbabwe College of Music teaching both the degree and the certificate programme.