Zimbabwean music fraternity has been engulfed in a sombre atmosphere as mbira fanatics mourns the death of the genre’s maestro Sekuru Gweshe who died late afternoon on Sunday.
Sekuru Gweshe real name David Tafanei was 74.
The late singer hailed from Mashonaland Central province where memories are also still fresh following the death of the recently declared national hero Oliver Mtukudzi.
A Mbira group, The Mbira Centre announced his death online with a caption titled
“END OF AN ERA”
“Sekuru Gweshe is no more. He passed on late afternoon today (yesterday) We got word from his family a few minutes ago. No words. RIP Gwenyambira.”
Born in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central, Sekuru Gweshe went to Gweshe Primary School and then Kutama College for Standard 6.
At 14, he developed an interest in mbira as both an instrument and music. He then would spend time at ritual ceremonies where mbira was played.
When he completed Standard 6, he worked in Harare as an upholsterer from 1958 to 1979.
It was during his time in Harare that he met Felix Mabhena, who helped him record his debut single titled “Mhuri YekwaGweshe” in the late 1970s.
Because of the single’s huge success, Sekuru Gweshe went on to release a second single titled “Zevezeve Rina Vatete”, done with the help of the late Jordan Chataika.
His other singles were “Nehoreka” and “Bhurugwa Renzungu”.
In 1977, Sekuru Gweshe founded the dance troupe Boterekwa that toured the world. His group was one of the very few that took traditional music to Germany, Australia, Mexico, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Malaysia and UK.
He has trained seven generations of dancers since 1977 and was involved with the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe together with the late Ephat Mujuru which nurtured Ambuya Stella Chiweshe among several others.
As part of the group, Sekuru Gweshe was instrumental in the scripting of the film Mbuya Nehanda that featured Ambuya Chiweshe.
He was also commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Dzingai Mtumbuka to teach mbira in some tertiary institutions. His last release was “Changamire Nyamweda” in 2000.”