From rags to riches and back to rags


By Tawanda Marwizi Arts

When Paradzai Mesi assumed the reins at sungura outfit Njerama Boys in 2000, they released an album “Zviripachena” that became an instant hit.

Paradzai Mesi

Before this, the group had unveiled a debut effort called “Zaru”, which did not make an impact. Under Mesi, the group that was based near Njerama Hills in Muzarabani, enjoyed tremendous success.

All went on well, enabling the singer to buy his own car, a commuter omnibus as well as a PA system. Success became their middle name, what with gems of albums like “Pane Chariuraya”, “Goneso”, “Masimba Towedzera”, “Zvavemuropa”, “Kambairai” and “Nguva”.

It is unfortunate that Gramma Records could not avail statistics in terms of the number of copies which these albums sold. Until 2006, the group was basking in glory with its music selling like hot cakes.

Hell broke loose in 2007 when the group split following a dispute over money they got from a live performance. Eronzi Makina and other band members left the group to form Njerepamwe Boys that could not last the distance.

From then, Mesi struggled to keep the name and traded his guitar for cotton farming. He tried to produce cotton in Muzarabani, but it failed to yield results.

This forced the gifted lead guitarist to sell his car, kombi and PA system to make ends meet. The “Tirihuruva” hitmaker relocated to Glendale in 2014 where he tried to revive Njerama Boys but his efforts were in vain.

Things got worse as he could no longer afford to pay rent and fend for his children. That is when he went to Nehanda Compound in Glendale where he is staying in a bedraggled thatched pole and dagga house.

When The Herald visited the struggling artiste, he was at home with his children. “This has been my life since I relocated to this place. I came here because I wanted land for farming,” he said.

Though he was reluctant to open up on the split, he said it was unfortunate that some of the original band members of Njerama Boys are late. “Makina and Zakaria are dead and I am not sure where the other band members are because after relocating I assembled a new band,” he said.

Mesi said he would not want to disclose what happened in the past as he was trying to revive his career. “People can say whatever they want, but I will only focus on my career. I have been performing in different parts of Mashonaland Central Province and some of the shows are not doing well,” he said.

He said he hoped the relocation to Glendale would pay off, but this was not to be. “Three years ago, I moved to Glendale hoping to get a piece of land as well as coming closer to town to boost my music career. Things did not go as I expected, forcing me to move to this compound,” he said.

However, his neighbours shared a different view. They described him as a “drunken master”. Some of them who refused to be named said he has fallen on hard times because of his love for the illicit brew “kachasu”.

“He spends t most of his time drunk with his favourite beer being kachasu, so he can’t take care of himself,” said one of his neighbours. Others said while he spent most of his time drunk, his wife Patricia Kapadza is taking care of the family.

“We have Chinese greenhouse projects a few metres from this compound and that is where his wife works. She is the one who is looking after the children while Mesi is always drunk,” said a neighbour. Mesi has 11 children and some of them are married.

From his marriage with Kapadza they have seven children, while he has four with two other different women. One of them is said to have dumped the musician after his fall from grace.

“I don’t want to talk about that because that is the thing of the past. For now I am only working on reviving my career,” he said. This publication tracked downed his father Vengesai Mesi who now stays in Madziva under Chief Nyamaropa.

He was not willing to talk to the Press. “People must give my son a break. What I know is he will come back on track musically,” he said.

Paradzai Mesi was born in Mazowe District in 1972 and grew up in Shamva before his parents relocated to Muzarabani.

*Origins of Njerama Boys*

Their name originated from Njerama Mountains, a few kilometres from Mavhuradona Mountains in Muzarabani.

When the band was formed in 1997 they played at local shopping centres in Muzarabani until they decided to record their first album. According to Mesi, who became the group leader some years later, they wrote a letter to Gramma Records in 2000 intending to record.

Unfortunately, that is the time when the area was affected by Cyclone Eline. “It took us time to get the response from Gramma because all communication systems were affected by the cyclone,” said Mesi.

“The response was overwhelming in Muzarabani and we felt we needed to record an album. We had to walk from our area to Muzarabani Growth Point where we could connect to Harare,” he said.

On their way to the popular growth point, they met three gentlemen looking for Njerama Boys. “We were lucky to meet Bothwell Nyamhondera and we had our first auditions under a baobab tree. He was not convinced then and told us to go back and perfect our songs,” he said.

After a month they decided to go back to Harare again and successfully recorded their first album “Zaru” in 2000. It was their following album “Zviripachena” that brought glory to the group.

“After making considerations with Makina and Zakaria they agreed to have me as the band leader,” said Mesi. Following the success of their second album, they recorded a number of albums.

Sixteen years down the line, everything is now history. Nyamhondera said the group had much potential and said the musician can revive his career if he becomes “serious” with his work.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Business and Arts Hub (Zibah) is organising a Paradzai Mesi Gala that is set to be held at Joy Centre in Highfield this coming Saturday.

Zibah Entertainment director and promoter David Mudzudzu said they feel Mesi has got the talent that can carry him through the journey. “It all calls for relevant stakeholders to come through and support him so that he can once again find his footing in the industry.

“The benefit concert will thus be wholly organised by Zibah and all artists willing to perform as a way of supporting their own can come on board and perform,” he said.

Group finance director at Nash Paints Tinashe Mutarisi said they believe in equal opportunities for all and they continue engaging and lobbying relevant stakeholders for more support towards local arts. The Herald

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  • Mentorship nekurongeka zvaka shorter apa

  • Mentorship nekurongeka zvaka shorter apa

  • Shavi reurombe too zvinodhaka

  • Shavi reurombe too zvinodhaka

  • Chikoro chodiwa vakomana nyangwe kusina mabasa, and these guys in this industry never learn , we will soon have another story to tell

    • Cheso anechikoro here?zvinowanikwa izvi muhupenyu

    • bussinesses close baba ukasangwara unobviswa pa map hazvinei nechkoro

    • @Jorge haana but ane wisdom thus why he hired a manager

    • thats true Tawanda inga dzimwe nyika dzine ma president asina chikoro but anotsvaga ma advisors akafunda

    • Chikoro chiripo une option B,

  • Chikoro chodiwa vakomana nyangwe kusina mabasa, and these guys in this industry never learn , we will soon have another story to tell

  • Mazita anezvaanoreva futi Paradzai

  • Mazita anezvaanoreva futi Paradzai

  • Aaaa saka muri kumukuridzira here kana kumudzikisira kumushambadza admin

  • Aaaa saka muri kumukuridzira here kana kumudzikisira kumushambadza admin

  • Akakuvadzwa ne piracy

    • He depends too much on sales instead of shows akagara kumuzarabani uko ndopakamuuraya ipapo.

  • Akakuvadzwa ne piracy

  • Ndezvekunyepa izvo kuti muskana ane tundebvu ane hukasha. Atori muimba kutsikisa dambarefu idzva

  • Ndezvekunyepa izvo kuti muskana ane tundebvu ane hukasha. Atori muimba kutsikisa dambarefu idzva

  • Hameno mwari nw munhu hake kutadza kuvakwa pa musha shuwa mukomboni ka umo hey hey

  • Hameno mwari nw munhu hake kutadza kuvakwa pa musha shuwa mukomboni ka umo hey hey

  • Zvinongorwadza varume

  • Zvinongorwadza varume

  • Pakaipa! Zvowanikwa in life, what is important are supporting structures & us people to give him a ✋ kuti abude mumadhaka he finds him in.

  • Pakaipa! Zvowanikwa in life, what is important are supporting structures & us people to give him a ✋ kuti abude mumadhaka he finds him in.

  • Typical of a Zimbabwean, what’s the logic of wasting moola n time at school when there is no employment like now, Messi was good by using his hands to earn a living , thus more than academically these days, he will still rise n shine again like phoenix

  • Typical of a Zimbabwean, what’s the logic of wasting moola n time at school when there is no employment like now, Messi was good by using his hands to earn a living , thus more than academically these days, he will still rise n shine again like phoenix

  • Marcus Tee Matewe

  • kana vakuru voreva usavapikise messi akambotsiurwa kuti asiyane nezvinodhaka asi ahana kuda kuteerera nhasi uno arikupomera kuroyiwa siya zvinodhaka uchawona hupenyu hwako hwuchidzokera mugwara.

  • With fucked up policies in that country it’s possible to rise from rags to riches and vice versa

  • Instead of helping him; the media is busy talking shit.

  • Ndosaka vafanha vamazuvano vachizvipa mamwe mazita ekuimbisa like ana Soul Jah Love kurasisa vavengi. Zita iro ndiro rakaparadza zvinhu

  • Life is a journey with an unpredictable terrain ahead.You might enjoy today and turn miserable in a wink of an eye.Only God knows what the future holds in one’s life.

  • Do you stl remember his hit song zvese zvichaparara.
    Zvaari nhasi ndozvayi reva massage yake

  • Nxaaa music in Zimbabwe doesn’t pay much but zvoenderana ne brain dzako pamushoma ipapo you can make big tingz and also Winky D is the Zim Dancehall King but Mavado is not ,but you will be suprised to hear that Mavado owns a $500 million mansion hahahaha

    • Winky owns a very big mansion bos,just after zimre pak ku chipfukuto bos,rakaipa zimba iroro

    • Hapatombofanire kuve nekuda kuenzanisa pakati pa Winky na Mavado

    • But You Cant Compare It With That Of Mavado Thanx Boss For Letting Mi Know

    • Panoenzaniswa coz munomutii King , Mavado Is The Richest Compared na Winky D kkkkk kana Little Addi na Little Kartel vavakumberi pa Winky D

    • Vana mavado zvava zvinhu ka izvo. Ma international artist. Vedu vakabuda muno vanongoteererwa nemazimba mashoma ari kunze

    • Vamwe vanenge vakaromba

    • by picking Winky from all Zim artists, it means he is the only Zimba who can giv thiz so called international artists gud run fo their money…

    • wat good run for their money can winky give international artists…his net worth is not even $100 000, those guys are multi millionaires

    • Watombo tanga uchiita sense pa 1st sentence yako. Then you started comparing Winky and Mavado, like really wtf? Nyangwe maths dze Grade 1 dzinoti, you can’t compare apples with oranges. Bottomline is Winky’s music hardly makes it out of our border, while Mavado is a big international superstar, so he is obviously going to earn more. You can compare Winky to Macheso, its fine.

    • Winky is rich tho

  • Instead of chipping in some people are talking crap

    • Taura zvako , vamwe kutorova peturu vakanga kuKiyaora farm kunomutora maphotos chete .

    • Zvobhowa Kuda Kuwana Zveku Posta

  • baba sharo batsira vamwe tione pazoipa

  • Muchati Bhuu

    Kachasu kamukanya

  • that’s life,anything can happen to anyone at any time. regai kuda kungoshora zvisina basa apo. hapana mugoni we upenyu only God can equip us with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. better people come together and help our fellow brother

  • I thought vanhu vari kuita ma funnies aaah it’s for real.

  • HELP HIM THAN KUPEDZA PETROL KUNOTORA MAPHOTOS ALL THE WAY TO CENTENARY .ZVIKAZODII

  • Haasi EGA vana josphat somanje nanaSugar sugar vakungotamburawo, but Macheso akarongeka 10 albums dzake dzamupundutsa kudarika vanema degrees.

  • Zita rake ndoramudaro mhosva kumubereki kungoparadza shuwa

  • Those interested in chipping in ma dolars kindly watsapp +263 773 226 465; for mkoma Para to rise again

  • Haana ukama na Lionel Messi here, Chikwambo chenhabvu pa Camp Nou?

  • But heyiiii pafeya, aigona zvake paradzai, esp e song ‘huruva’, its so so sad that thingz are no longer e same,,,,hope he will surely rise again,,, he only needs proper rehabilitation, if its true he is a servant of drugs n alcohol!

    • its so sad iif u can listen to his music n look videos wotarisa zvaari now hey ma1

  • Is this his home??? Where are those chicks were dancing for him in want to choose 1 they are so cute

  • Any one with his conducts details or anoziva kwaari kugara plz send so that we can help him its part of life life have some ups and down but you need to focus

    • Go to HMETRO news platform and ask them about his address

    • Ari pa Kiaora compound kuGlendale jus get there haumushai A well known musician even pa mashops epa Glendale haushai anokuudza kwaari.

  • Kuzot kachasu apa

  • Zvese zvichapera akange arota wena.

  • Mwana akabvunza chi Honest Question

  • life can change at anytime

  • humhata,kusarongeka

  • He got broke because the industry and country are broke

  • zvidzidzo kuvana wedu humbimbindoga kuzvikudza zvokuonesa ndondo sory hako para bt da truth must b told as t iz.boyz parakabuda murume uyu nekuda kwekuty akanga akudya a biger portion amweni akatarira sezvinonzi wnga wakubata zviridzwa zvese hona manje nhasi manew recruits akatadza kubata wire

  • He is not the first person kubhuroka ko vanga vaine mabhazi vakabhuroka wani, nyika chaiyo yakabhuroka zvashamisei kuna Paradzai fuckoff

  • Life is so unpredictible

  • He is not the only one strugling,,,we are all strugling

  • Apo panenge pakapindira mweya yakaipa chete!!!!This guy needs deliverance

  • Chaitemura chavekuseva…… Chakutemura pekare 🤣🤣🤣

  • Isu doro todambura everyday imi muchinetseka nekuda kunzwi mupfumi

  • Plus juju

  • Chaona mumwe chapfuura kwasara seke, usaseke hama yangu vamwe vakafa,,,,,Para apo wakandigonera zvangu

  • Sounds like a lot of drama over something Unnecessary, Chkoro Chinodiwa yes but vangani vanema degree vawakanzwa kuti Havana kana chavainacho? Remember Satan aripabasa rake Hpana anoziva chakamudonhedza kusvika paari nhas, only God can Help him up again all He needs is a good adviser and lot of prayers

  • As I saw this, I was playing his DVD and I’m really touched… Hope he will come back strongly…

  • So sad

  • You guys muri kunetsaniraneiko the main story is Para can do much better netushoma twaarikuwana itwotwo that’s akashandisa msoro wake sezvirikuitwa na Winky ikozvino yavambula nekuda kwekurongeka i think thats what he’s trying to say

  • paradzai aigona kuimba but problem one ndeyekuti hapana kana one day randakamboona poster rekuti ane show muno muharare or even kugaller zvako but ainyatsoziva kuti kugrammer records yakuchabve chinhu coz of pirase. Lazziness does not pay.

  • Baduba ngokudla imali njengo muthi welokhuzeni

  • Ngaataure naJah Praiser kukudiwa munhu anoridza hosho ku military touch

    • Saharawifoxx

      🤣🤣🤣 musawanze akomana

  • Why do people rush to attack education (degrees)? Are they compensatory statements because one failed to acquire one? Education doesn’t mean money otherwise there would be no reason why Bill Gates or Strive Masiiwa would educate thier children.

  • Thanks Zihub

  • Its great some have the brains and cash rise Mkoma Mesi

  • Mablazo warikuda #rehab chaiyo first. I saw him naMacheso last week pastage and u cld see his body is weak nekachasu. Yes his talented bt he needs #rehab first or els hapana chobuda zve.

  • Akatadza kushandisa mukana nenguva chaiyo , ava kukaruka vamwe vava mhiri aendepi zvake Macheso mambo wemadzimambo

  • Mfana wake lionel messi ngaaonewo blaz vayaura

  • Chaitemura chava kuseva asi chavakutemura zvakare

  • No body knows about his/her life nekuda kwaizvozvo ngatisasekane nhasi ndini mangwana ndiwe ,ushe madzoro

  • Aaaa so sad the guy is talented in everyway hwahwa nekuimba asi anonyanyira kuside kwedoro rehab ndomunzwa

  • Murikuona cancer iya piracy zvaonozoita manje

  • And i think kuti this is the high time , to all Zimbabweans artist to show love kuna mkoma Paradzai Mesi kuti vasimuke zvekare

  • Musaseka mangwana ndiwe.

  • Haaa I’m still puzzled on what happened on this man his music was sky rocketing within a small period of time it all vanished in a thin air?

  • Poor management,buying scrap skrororo instead of building home. Selfishness and being greedily caused havoc to his career. Come to South Africa Ndolwane super sounds will revive your superb career

  • Ko madii mabata mupfanha vacho anonzi Lionel Messi kuti ndosituationa yana mukoma vake Paradzai messi ,pamwe anga mubatsirewoo

  • he must go with time ngaaimbe maZim Dancehall

  • MukarangawekuMberengwa

    hapana kuoma kwezvinhu munyika chete so handivasvori machinda awa. Ndozvimwechete namukoma Sugar sugar varimurushambwa gwenhamo . Inyika yako machinda kuti vanhu vapinde mshows hunge mari yokudhakwa iripo