By Prince Mushawevato
Friday will mark exactly a decade since Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo breathed his last. Dhewa’s music legacy still lives on through his sons Peter and Obert Tongai Jnr.
Peter has managed to keep Utakataka Express afloat in the last 10 years.
Obert was only 11 years old when Dhewa died. However, it is the recent rise of Obert that seems to be creating confusion within the late singer’s family.
For instance, both musicians use the name Utakataka Express for their backing groups, though Obert suffixes 4×4 to the band’s name.
Naturally, fans have been urging the two, who have different music strengths, to combine forces. But, unity between the two siblings is proving to be elusive.
“It is impossible for us to join forces. He has a full band and I also have one. We employ a number of people, thus combining forces means some people will end up losing their jobs,” explained Peter.
“Besides, our styles are different. The situation is better left as it is.
“The crisis that people think we have will actually get worse if we combine forces. Imagine having two bulls in one kraal? It will not work! History has proven that power struggles destroy bands. We have several local examples.
“If you notice, the way we compose our music is different. Obert has his own style and I have mine. I think the market is big enough for both of us. He can carry on doing his thing so that we offer our fans diverse products.”
However, despite the differences, Peter said, he hoped for the family to remain united.
Being the eldest son in the late Dhewa’s family, he is currently planning a commemoration show for their departed patriarch.
And it is usually such events that expose fissures within families.
“October is the month we lost Dhewa and we are commemorating his death as usual. Obert, just like everyone else, is free to be part of the event in any way he wishes.”
But Obert told The Sunday Mail Society that he will be holding his own commemoration gigs in Harare and Kwekwe.
In fact, he had planned his debut album release date to coincide with the October 15 commemoration.
Some of the songs on the album include “Mbinga”, “Tsoka YeRudo”, My Moyo”, “Uriko”, “Dhewa Venyu” and “Titambe Ngoma”.
“The album launch dates have since been changed, but it will still be released this October. I can confirm though that I am planning two commemoration shows alone,” he said.
He currently did not have plans to work with Peter.
“I have never considered that idea and will not likely do so anytime soon. Fans have been suggesting that we unite, but I don’t think it is possible. I respect Peter’s privacy and line of work and do not wish to disturb him.”
For his commemoration message, Peter said: “It is always going to be tough to fill the gap my father left or to be like him musically. But I am proud to have managed to fulfil some of the tasks he left for me.
“I managed to complete construction work at the Kwekwe home, build structures at our rural home and to also make sure all my siblings go to school.
“So this month I am not crying, but celebrating my achievements under the difficult circumstances. I would like to thank all those that have supported me over the past 10 years. It is because of them that I am still moving forward.”
Obert also poured out his heart.
“It is now 10 years since you left. I just want to give you (late father) an update. Nyasha and Tendai are working in South Africa. We are taking care of Gogo Chihera, who has developed leg pains and asthma. Natasha has grown into a star in terms of education, same as Nicole. Your beloved children — Tanaka, Peter and myself — tirikuita basa ramakasiya though zvichirema. I miss you dad and continue to rest in peace”. The Sunday Mail