By Sophia Chese
Legendary guitarist and co-founder of jazz band Jabavu Drive, Timothy “Timmy” Makaya has died. Makaya died on Monday after battling a stroke for two years. He was 67. The veteran guitarist was laid to rest yesterday at Glen Forest Cemetery.
Makaya is survived by his wife, six children and several grandchildren. In an interview, the family’s spokesperson who is also Makaya’s son, Kudzi Makaya, said his father’s death is a major blow to the family.
“We have lost a father who was a unifier, so full of love for his family and though it pains us that he has left us, we are grateful that he left us a united family. We love each other as a family and we owe this to our father,” he said.
Makaya’s close friend and band member Philip Svosve said they were saddened by the death.
“It’s sad we have lost a legend in Jazz music. Everyone who worked with him or have seen him performing can agree with me that he was an icon when it comes to jazz — we have lost someone who had worked hard to put Jazz music on the map and we wish him well in his next life,” he said.
He added that what saddened them the most as a band is that they failed to see him regularly during the time he was not well since he had relocated to Kwekwe.
“He has been ill for some time but we could not visit him more often since he was now in Kwekwe, his son whom we are working with in our band is the one who used to visit him and give us feedback,” he said.
Makaya’s career hit off with the popular St Paul’s Musami Blues Band together with the late Basil Kumpeu, Sylvester Gano, Christopher Matanhire, Peter Tamburai, Francis Chakanyuka, Fanuel Chikukwa and Arthur Chipunza.
At Jabavu Drive, he worked with Svosve, Dave Dimingo, Nicholas Mugona and Charles Mangena before he retired due to illness.