By Vasco Chaya
Zora star Leonard Zhakata has poured cold water on reports that he walked away with $6 000 after claiming the top three positions on the 2016 Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 due to the influence of popular preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa.
Some music fans and critics alike have claimed that Zhakata won the prestigious contest after Makandiwa directed members of his United Family International Church (UFIC) to vote for the music star.
“I know people are talking a lot, some saying the victory is a result of prophet Makandiwa’s miracles while others have attributed the success to UFIC congregants but little did they know that …Makandiwa last spoke about my career in church way back in 2011 before I even released Gotwe…he is too busy to talk of artistes’ work in church,” said Zhakata, who is a UFIC member.
The Mugove singer remembers just a single occasion when the UFIC founder spoke about his music.
“The only time he talked about my music was when he (Makandiwa) said his father was not a fan of secular music until he came across my music which changed his perception towards secular music,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.
Zhakata, who walked away with $2 500 for claiming top position on the Coca-Cola music chart, $2 000 for earning second position and $1 500 for also getting position number three, said fellow UFIC members were equally baffled by the manner he made a clean sweep of the entire purse of the 2016 Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50.
“I was not the only one pleasantly surprised by the victory; even UFIC members were astonished by the victory as the majority of them were not even aware of this voting process .They have , however, promised to vote for me this year,” he said, adding that his victory was inspired by God.
“I believe God is using me as an instrument or example to show his grace on people. My success story has transformed people’s lives differently and I urge other artistes to turn to God and repent so that they can also enjoy these benefits.”
The zora star described his fans as “the best in Zimbabwe.”
“The victory came at the right time when some people thought I was finished but my fans — the zora cadres — stood by me, sacrificing the little resources they have including airtime to vote for me. I will always be grateful to them. Without them I am nothing,” said Zhakata.
He has urged other artistes to learn some lessons from the way his songs claimed the top three positions.
“Being the only artiste in the top three does not mean my music is better than that of other musicians. What simply happened is that my fans voted more than those of other artistes. I have a feeling that we will see more music fans supporting different musicians. I am really looking forward to it,” said the award-winning singer.
He conceded that he is now under pressure to prove that the victory was not a fluke.
“The victory has put us under some sort of pressure. We want to prove a point that we deservedly won considering that some sections of the society argued that our album was not good at all.
“We have already lined up new releases for this year. We are planning to release other songs which were originally on Mutunga Dzese and another full album.
“I am determined to be part of artistes who are contributing to the revival of sungura music. Sungura artistes worked hard last year because they were tired of playing second fiddle to Zimdancehall.
“It started with Alick Macheso’s powerful album Tsoka Dzerwendo (Ayaya) which was complemented by our album and several others,” said the Madam Boss singer. Daily News