Blind Gweru musician brings out album after 20 years in industry

By Sharon Chiware

Gweru’s popular blind musician, John Madubeko, has finally released his much anticipated album Hossana after 20 years in the industry.

Big Dhara as Madubeko is affectionately known by his legion of fans, has endeared himself to Gweru music lovers with his guitar antics and his 10-year-old son’s drumming prowess that has seen them attracting a huge following.

Madubeko (54) has penned a number of songs that he performs at functions and weddings but never recorded any in his 20-year music career.

However, his fans’ long wait is finally over after the Sungura artist and his four-member ensemble that includes his three children aged eight, 10 and 12, released their first gospel album which has eight songs.

The songs are Hosanna, Vedzinza vakaramba, Izenzo zako, Monditengerawo lawyer, Ndinokuda iwe Mwana wemunhu, Love inoda majarini, Pamuchato and Singeni.

The album, which was recorded at Ghetto Studios in Gweru, has already taken the city by storm.

Madubeko, who sells the album for $1 outside Edgars Stores in the City of Progress, said he is impressed by his album’s reception.

“My album is called Hossana and fans are receiving it well. I perform at family shows and functions particularly church gatherings. I have been invited to perform in local popular night spots but my children are still juveniles and that could give them an indecent upbringing. However, I am looking for new members since my children go to school so that I can perform outside Gweru,” he said.

Madubeko’s eight-year-old daughter is the lead vocalist in all the songs.

“I became blind in the year 1994 because of an eye condition called Glaucoma. This is an eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, becomes damaged.This resulted in my blindness”, he said.

“I started begging people for help so as to earn a living but I later decided to join this industry and start using my singing talent as well as playing my guitar to take care of my family through donations,” said Madubeko.

Madubeko ventured into the music industry two decades ago and has always had a dream to emulate the late popular blind musician Paul Matavire. The Chronicle

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