Malunga’s crossover from army to music
By Godwin Muzari
Clive Malunga is popularly known for his video “Nesango”, which became one of the best visual music productions in the country in the late 90s.
Scenes depicted on the video approximate a war movie with Malunga as the main actor. It was evident that someone with a military background had a hand in the video production.
It was the man himself, Malunga, who put the video together. “Nesango” is a confluence of Malunga’s military and music experiences.
Malunga joined the liberation struggle in 1978 and later became a soldier in independent Zimbabwe before crossing over to music.
In an interview with The Herald as part of chronicles of the country’s 40th independence celebrations, Malunga shared the story of his crossover from the army to music. He began with his role during the liberation struggle.
“I went to Mozambique to join the liberation war in 1978. I spent some time in Tete before a senior comrade called Cde Makasha took us in 1979 to Manga Camp in Sofala where sick and injured comrades were kept,” Malunga began his tale.
“I spent some time at Manga assisting the afflicted and ailing comrades. I was then taken to Samakweza Camp in Inyaminga for real military training. I was in the same group with the late Mike Munyati. We did training in war tactics and strategies.”
Clive Malunga (centre) with members of the army while shooting the video for “Nesango”
Before Malunga’s group could be sent to the war front, a ceasefire was declared and they had to be involved in setting up assembly points for demobilisation.
“We came back from Mozambique and our group was assigned to Mutare. We went to set up Tongogara assembly point, which is now a refugee camp. As we left the assembly point, we were given options to join various Government departments as we built independent Zimbabwe,” recalled Malunga.
The “Nesango” singer elected to continue with his military journey and went for further training in Bulawayo.
“I went to Llewellyn Barracks, where I was integrated into the army. We did further training and I was then sent to 19 Infantry Battalion in Ntabazinduna in Bulawayo. I was a lieutenant in the army and I served until 1983.”
As the Government’s demobilisation programme neared its end, Malunga decided to quit the army to pursue music.
“I felt I had done enough in the army. I always wanted to do music, so I left the army to be a musician. That was the beginning of my journey in music.”
Malunga said he got initial assistance from Zexie Manatsa and then tried to engage Pied Pipers. He could not get support from Pied Pipers and he also approached Tobias Areketa. His dream came true when he joined Blues Revolution Band, which assisted him with his first recording.
He toured with the group and later went solo. Malunga is credited for forming Jenaguru Music Festival, which was one of the biggest music gatherings in the country.
He has taken the name Jenaguru to another level and now runs Jenaguru Village Arts Centre which facilitates exchange programmes between local and international artistes.
The centre grooms young musicians and Malunga is assisting the late John Chibadura’s sons who are working on a new album. The Herald