By Vasco Chaya and Helen Kadirire
Permanent secretary of information George Charamba said he is paying tribute to the late liberation singer Dickson Chingaira aka Cde Chinx, by disclosing that he is the shadowy character Nathaniel Manheru who contributes a weekly column in The Saturday Herald.
He said because of his closeness to Cde Chinx, the musician used to visit him at his offices where he asked him who Nathaniel Manheru was.
“Cde Chinx used to come to my office without an appointment, not because of indiscipline but because of the nature of the relationship we used to share.
“He used to read the Saturday column by Nathaniel Manheru and always wondered who he is, It is I George Charamba. As a tribute to him I am disclosing that I am Nathaniel Manheru.
“To those who read it and care to appreciate you will notice that I use nuances from Cde Chinx’s songs, because in as far as I am concerned contemporary politics emanated from politics of the struggle,” said Charamba as he addressed mourners at Cde Chinx’s residence in Sentosa, Harare yesterday.
Meanwhile, Charamba said government tried its level best to save the late revolutionary musician’s life but their efforts were in vain as “cancer proved to be a real threat to human life”.
“I was working closely with commander of Defence Forces Constantino Chiwenga to save Cde Chinx’s life.
“We had done our best in paying for his medical bills as well as looking for specialists but it is unfortunate that all our efforts were in vain considering that knowledge about cancer treatment is still very shallow,” Charamba said.
“The family suggested the use of herbs to cure the illness but as a government we did not second them on that because we feared it could backfire. We also facilitated his return to hospital but anyway, we all failed to save him.”
He said as the government, they have come up with a plan to promote musicians such as Cde Chinx through State galas.
“Cultural galas were an excuse to support the music industry and in all the events that we held we had regulars.
“Apart from promoting their music, State galas serve as a vehicle to teach youngsters real culture and history of the country hence we used to have regular musicians such as Cde Chinx, Tambaoga, Andy Brown, Chase Skuza and Sandra Ndebele among others.
“We used them because we noticed that the younger generation was mimicking Western music.
“We later realised that Chimurenga Music was dying down and revived it at a music studio in town. We recorded the music but it was not published and as a tribute to Chinx we want to publish the music for the benefit of the Chingaira family,” he said.
Cde Chinx’s burial details are still to be announced as there is a possibility that he can be conferred national hero status.
Chiwenga and his wife Marry attended the funeral yesterday together with various musicians such as Nicholas Zakaria, Zexie Manatsa, Mbare Chimurenga Choir and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPS) Band among others.
Mbare Chimurenga shared the stage with the ZPS band during the day in honour of the late Cde Chinx.
The two groups emotionally performed Cde Chinx’s hits such as Vanhu Vose VomuAfrica, Chikopokopo and Maruza Imi among others.
Cde Chinx died at the age of 61 on Friday night at West End Hospital in Harare after battling leukaemia cancer.
Mourners are gathered at Number 17 Turkely Drive, Sentosa, Mabelreign in Harare.
Cde Chinx’s allegiance to the ruling party Zanu PF was undoubted as his musical career can be traced back to 1975 when he joined the liberation struggle in Mozambique and led the Zanla Choir.
Music played a crucial role during and after the liberation struggle as it inspired fighters and also used to communicate special messages such as the objectives of the war, dos and don’ts in the society among others.
Some of his hits include Vanhu Vose VemuAfrica, Chikopokopo, Roger Confirm and Zvikomborero among others.
His last concert was in February this year when he performed with the ZPS band at President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations held in Matobo. Daily News