Did Tongai Moyo foresee his death?

THERE is something spiritual about music — especially all the great tracks, those that have stood the test of time. You get the sense it is not the musician singing, that it is some voice speaking.

On the flip side, do musicians dream their lyrics, where do they get the inspiration from? Do they know or see something that us, mere mortals, don’t see?

It has been more than a fortnight since the country has remembered the sad passing on of Tongai Moyo, Murozvi Mukuru, Mopao Mukonzi, Dhewa or Samanyemba. In fact, he gave himself a litany of praise names.

But as the country remembered the artiste largely credited with bringing a fashion sense to sungura, something caught my attention, something tickled me. Did Tongai Moyo, as early as 2005, know that he was walking in the valley of the shadow of death? Did he know that his time with us was going to be short-lived?

For it was in 2005 that he released the album “Naye”, which carried the song “Handidi Navo”, which didn’t make it much to the charts then. But on listening to the song today, you get to do some soul-searching: did Dhewa know something was to befall him?

In the song, he asks the Almighty, in the event that he dies, to spare his children from any punishment, on account of his sins. He pleads with the Lord to punish him and him only.

Quite soulful and rich.

Which begs the question: did Tongai Moyo, by 2005, know he had cancer? Did he know he was dying? And if he knew, did he keep it a secret until three years later, in 2008, when he went public with the disclosure? Or it was one of those songs ordinarily composed?

These are questions that any of us cannot answer. He went into the grave with these and many other answers. But he is not the only musician to have seen his death approaching. John Chibadura gave us “Zuva Rekufa Kwangu”, whereas “Marshall Munhumumwe gave us “Rwendo Rusina Muperekedzi”.

In the week that we also remember the passing on of James Chimombe who died on October 23 1990, after giving us “Siya Wawoneka”, we can only but wonder about where the inspiration to these lyrics come from.



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  • Zain Gratis

    NHAI writer, kana munhu ane aids ne cancer pane chekurota here apa nhai pindurao????????

  • Manyika

    “Farewell” songs usually come within a year or on the last album of the departed artist. Think of James Chimombe’s Jemedza and Chawana Mumwe and Leonard Dembo’s Yave, Kanganwiro, Babamunini and Ndiri Mudiki.

    Tongai’s song that forms the fulcrum of this article came some six years before his death and cannot be immediately linked as a ‘prophecy’ into his forthcoming demise. I reckon he was just singing generally.

    John Chibadura’s Zuva Rekufa Kwangu came more than ten years before his death in 1999. James Chimombe’s Siya Waoneka is actually a (disappointed) love song! Maybe this journalist just read the title and assumed the song deals with death.