Allan Chimbetu’s biggest plea
By Prince Mushawevato
“I wish I could put someone in my shoes for a single day and they experience the pressure that I go through everyday to unite my family. The guys, particularly Sulu (Sulumani), Tryson and Douglas, are a difficult lot that need special tact when dealing with them,” claimed the only surviving Dendera “godfather”, Allan Chimbetu, last week.
To his credit, Allan has done his best to keep the family left behind by his late brothers Simon, Naison and Briam intact.
Through the 48-year-old’s effort, the Chimbetu family can now gather under one roof for major family events. This was hardly possible in the past as squabbles, accusations and counter-accusations, particularly of witchcraft, threatened to tear the family apart.
It was often Sulu and his cousin Tryson at war. But the storm appears to have calmed. The Chimbetus of song — Sulu, Tryson, Douglas and Saiwe, led by Allan — united this year for the annual Simon Chimbetu commemoration gig in August.
Fans cheered the move.
However, Allan feels more still needs to be done.
Contents of his forthcoming fifth studio album “Urgent Matter”, due for release this coming Saturday, sums it all up.
The Sunday Mail Society got the chance to sample the 10-track album.
While all the songs easily grab attention, the fifth track, “Kombe”, is spellbinding.
The Chewa song, which is marinated with sublime Dendera instruments, speaks of a man with a “serious” family predicament.
“Kombe means a fishing net. In the song, I am pleading with the Almighty to give me the power to recover my borrowed nets from relatives that seek to control them forever. I am tabling an option to be granted the means to acquire a new set of tools so that I am able to execute my duties as a family head,” he explained.
Allan argues it is his duty as leader of the family to boost the genre’s waning fortunes.
“It took me a great effort to come up with ‘Urgent Matter’. I think it is my best to date. I have done everything outside music to unite the family and feel there is still a need for me to bring them under one roof musically.
“Everyone in the family respected Simon and Naison’s music talent. It is against that background that I feel a superb product will help me further gain respect and grip from my nephews.”
The horn-bill is once again crowing on the well-knit album that features Sulu and Mathius Mhere on the songs “Nhodzerai” and “Nyasha Dzinesu” respectively.
The effortless blending with Mhere, a gospel singer, confirms Allan’s versatility and experience in the music industry.
Other tracks on the album include “Sorry”, “Ndichinge Ndisina Mari”, “Urgent Matter”, “Mudzimai Akarongeka”, “Tiverengane”, “Rwendo” and “Hello”.
The veteran guitarist, composer and vocalist retraced his Dendera roots on the effort.
Similarly, the magical touch of veteran producers that include Canada-based Munya Viali, Mokoomba band member Trust Samende, South Africa-based Keith Farquharson and Oscar Chamba is difficult to miss.
“I joined Simon when I was about 23 years old. In 1998, I managed to play the guitar on his album ‘Lullaby’. It is through my experience that I have the Dendera curriculum direct from the founders. This project delivers nothing short of excellence,” said Allan.
“I know people want a family album, and we are arranging for that. I have made strides in bringing them to talking terms and that is a big step towards the plan. I love all my nephews.
“I worked with Sulu on this not because I favour him: I simply follow protocol. He is the eldest in the family.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank Fasfit Matlock owned by Thompson Dondo. They sponsored the album recording and are also sponsoring the launch to be held . . . in Waterfalls.”
The launch will be aired on ZBC-TV starting at 9pm.
“. . . he came looking for assistance and I did not object since we already knew each other. I personally can work with any artist. Besides, Allan is a seasoned musician that deserves respect,” said Dondo.
Fasfit Matlock branch manager Caroline Chizema adds: “We always try to assist our artistes in every little way possible. We are pulling out all the stops to make sure that his November 14 launch is a massive success.”
Allan’s other albums include “Sonny” (2006), “Professor” (2007), “Simukai” (2009) and “Covenant” (2016). The Sunday Mail