Tedious Matsito is a pale shadow of his former self.
Tears roll down the musician’s cheeks as he stares emptily into space, probably thinking about how life has gone downhill since a series of accidents left him short of a limb in 2012 and without any musical instruments.
He will not speak to us, despite our gentle proddings. He does not want to talk about how his star waned since the 1990s, before a mild stroke also affected his facial nerve system.
That means he gets along on an ill-fitting prosthetic limb while battling a speech impairment — a far cry from the man who rocked a nation with hits like “Gede Mwana”.
Add to that periodic memory loss and anyone can understand why he had to hand over leadership of his Ngwenya Brothers to his son, Tedious Muchapedza Jnr.
Doctors have prescribed physiotherapy but financial constraints are stalling his progress.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society, Ngwenya Brothers band manager Collen Siwali said Matsito was in a serious financial crisis.
“Things have been really tough for mdhara. He has not been attending his physiotherapy sessions in the past two weeks because of financial constraints,” said Siwali.
“Initially he was scheduled to attend the sessions daily but the doctors ended up cutting the number of days to two per week after noticing he was having challenges to pay. But again, he still cannot afford the reduced sessions.”
According to the Ngwenya Brothers manager, the crooner requires $70 per for transport and the two therapy sessions.
“He cannot walk thus we need to hire a taxi for him every time we intend to travel for therapy sessions. But because he is no longer getting adequate income, we have resorted to helping him exercise home without professional supervision,” added Siwali.
Apart from medical bills Matsito also has to pay school fees for his Grade Three twin sons and Tedious Jnr, who is in Form Four.
His wife, Patience, is searching for employment.
“Mrs Matsito tried in vain to secure employment in Harare. An offer, however, came from Kwekwe of which she had no option but to accept. She works in a shop during the week and only visits on weekends.
“Initially mdhara zvaisavaitira mushe (the big man was not okay with idea initially), one could tell it really bothered him but now he has since accepted that mama (mother) should fend for the family,” revealed the Ngwenya Brothers manager.
The musician’s mother, Gogo Laina Matsito, has since moved from Mozambique to help take care of her son.
“I feel sad because there is little or nothing I can do besides just sit and watch my son ail. What pains the most is that he used to provide for me and for his family but not anymore; sometimes it is even difficult to put food on the table for the children.
“I am thankful to those who have helped him in the past but I still appeal for more help especially towards physiotherapy because that is the most critical that is needed for him. It is too much a burden for Muchapedza (Tedious Jnr) who at 16 should be concentrating with school but instead has become the breadwinner,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ngwenya Brothers are working on a compilation album that is set for release before mid-year.
“Times are hard but we are going ahead with plans to release an eight track album that will comprise of six yesteryear hits by Tedious himself and two new compositions by his son Muchapedza.
“The album was initially titled ‘Mandipamukana’ by Muchapedza’s father. I not sure as yet is the so will carry or change the title since he is now the new leader,” said group manager Siwali.
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