By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
Who would not love to have famous parents?
From Phil Collins and daughter Lily to Lionel and Nicole Richie, to our local Willom Tight and son Gary Tight these talented offspring have followed in their father’s footsteps to become famous themselves.
And although it doesn’t hurt to have a dad who is known the world over, the people especially love how these sons and daughters have made a name for themselves all on their own.
If ever there is anything that the 15th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) which were held at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare recently got right, it was to show the world that Zimbabwe has its fair share of celebrities who do not think that fame and dysfunctional families are synonymous.
Apart from the winners of the night, who walked away with the coveted trophies of artistic excellence, it was also a night for these celebrities and their spouses, sons and daughters to shine on the podium where there presented awards to the winners.
And in true spirit of showing that talent indeed runs in their families, these personalities have imparted their artistic skills to their offspring in a way that will leave some of the who-is-who of Hollywood green with envy.
If you thought that only the likes of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith were good at rubbing off their celebrity status to their son and daughter Willow and Jaden Smith, then you need to think again and look closer to home.
Zexie Manatsa and Tendai
Tendai — who is married to Selmor Mtukudzi — like his wife has taken after his father’s music path and is not stopping at anything to ensure that he keeps the music torch that his father handed over to him burning. Tendai has composed his own music but is mostly seen at gigs as a session player in the afro-jazz genre.
Albert Nyathi and Xolisani
The “People’s Poet” of Zimbabwe and musician, Albert Nyathi has also proven to all and sundry that he has a passion of imparting his expertise not only to other youthful artistes but to his own offspring.
The “My Daughter” writer mentored his son Xolisani, who is now into the arts big time. The son is not only a poet too but an entertainment journalist. Incidentally, Albert will soon be bringing out “My Son” as he extends his parental guidance to Xolisani and other young men in his signature humorous but on point style.
Willom Tight and Garry Willom
The two, who look like brothers, put up a polished and well-synchronised act at the awards. Tight is one singer who has been in the arts scene for a long time, dating back to the years when he teamed up with Dino Mudondo on a number of projects like “Bhazi” among others, which became instants hits.
This time around, the affable singer has roped in his son Garry into the field he loves most and ever since young Garry joined the music fray, he has never looked back. In fact, the son has become the breadwinner, helping the family through a dry patch for the father.
Charles and Jesesi Mungoshi
If ever there is one couple of artistes who are committed to their art, then it is none other than writer Charles Mungoshi and his wife Jessesi who have started their publishing company which is run as a family venture. Jessesi turned up with younger son Charles Jnr who is also an author and one of the directors of the venture. The older son is a film director and worked with Jessesi to produce a movie of one of Charles Mungoshi’s novels.
Mechanic Manyeruke and Guspy Warrior
Although the father and son took separate routes when it comes to music genres, the Manyerukes are a stronghold name in music. So the generation gap shows when you look at dad in his suits and the son in his laid back style, but that is all good. You could tell that they have that star quality by the way fans jostled to have a picture with both of them.
Dominic Benhura and Tendai
Not exactly following in his father’s footsteps, Tendai has decided to go into music. Dominic is an internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean sculptor who has exhibited his work around the world. He has won awards for his work both locally and internationally.
Bob Nyabinde and Aggabu
The “Chabuda hapana” hitmaker has proved that he really is a teacher as he takes his sons through their paces. Aggabu, who Bob stepped out with at NAMA plays regularly with his dad and has his own single titled “Mhiko” coming soon. Nyabinde’s eldest son is an accomplished guitarist and an excellent dancer.
Josphat Somanje and Fahim
Josphat brought his late brother Daiton’s son, Fahim. Fahim’s album is apparently doing well in the circles of those who appreciate that kind of beat. But on the awards night, Fahim seemed reticent and would not step into the limelight with his uncle. We hope that Fahim’s shyness was not engendered by his elder’s dress sense which easily won Josphat the worst dressed gent accolade with no close competitor.
Tuku missing in action
Speculation on relations between Oliver Mtukudzi and his daughter Selmor rose once again after she chose her sister Sandra to accompany her to the stage. Selmor later went on to thank her mother and carefully omitted her famous dad. But blood runs thick as Selmor scooped an award showing that the apple does not fall far from the tree. The Herald