Matsito pleads for help

Prince Mushawevato
RESILIENT Ngwenya Brothers front man, Tedious Matsito, has for the first time openly admitted that he desperately needs a helping hand.

In the past, the sungura musician has put up a brave face but this time around he concedes that he no longer sees the light, in fact, he feels the tunnel is collapsing on him.

The man has been subjected to an avalanche of misfortunes. His siblings and band members have fallen one after the other, he has been involved in several accidents that left him with no music equipment and even cost him a limb. Matsito is now grounded after suffering a mild stroke that affected his facial nerve system late last year in South Africa.

The stroke appears to be the proverbial last straw that threatens to break his back. Apart from struggling to use his artificial leg, both on and off stage, Matsito also now has a stern speech challenge. It is no longer possible for the strong willed artiste to go through even a single song.

He is currently undergoing speech therapy at local medical institution but remedy seems far from sight. Matsito is failing to attend recommended sessions due to lack of funds.

The “Gede Mwana” hit-maker had thus far remained stubborn, working hard to fend for his family and raise medical fees despite odds being against him. Rather the desire to shrug off the “charity case” tag has contributed to Matsito’s current predicament. Medical practitioners hinted in 2015 that the musician could lose yet another leg or suffer other complications if he continued overworking himself. Back then, the former gardener was holding a string of shows in areas around Mashonaland West.

But who can blame the artiste who has since become a pale shadow of the yesteryear superstar he once was? Apart from award-winning promoter Daniel Masaiti, who recently donated foodstuffs worth hundreds of dollars, most promoters and arts associations have opted to watch from the sidelines. No one is currently helping!

Is it not the right time for responsible authorities and well-wishers to come in full force and support this ailing artiste?

The time to help is now or forever hold your cash! The Sunday Mail Society caught up with Matsito for a chat. “It is now a different case altogether. I need help otherwise I’m in trouble. I cannot manage at the moment. I have been undergoing physiotherapy following a stroke I suffered in December. The sessions have not been going on well though because of ballooning medical bills.  “Sometimes the medical practitioners do not attend to me because of outstanding bills and I have in some instances had to rely on benevolence for treatment while in worst cases I skip treatment sessions completely,” said a stuttering Matsito soon after returning home from his rendezvous. What makes Matsito’s case even more touching is that despite being presently down, his selection of words continue to paint a picture of a man who does not want to leave a beggar’s life. Probably this explains why despite being in pain, he instead of resting continues to move around in search of deals that can help him earn money.

“I’m just hoping I will be able to raise enough money to meet my medical bills and probably seek treatment elsewhere so that I can be well again and be able to work for my family,” he continued. BancABC helped the musician secure an artificial leg from Europe in 2012 while top promoter Partson “Chipaz” Chimbodza held a fundraising gig the following year.

No concrete assistance came through thereafter.

“I am grateful to some of my friends that have organised charity shows for me but the money has not been enough probably due to poor attendance. However, I just pray that I get well and be able to go back on stage because I know I am inconveniencing them (fellow musicians). They have families to take care of. Each time they do a free gig for me, their families probably feel the impact.”

Apart from medical bill worries, Matsito also has school fees to settle for five children, two of which are on their final stage of high school.

“…I have been talking to the teachers for extended periods of school fees paying. Two of the girls (twins) are in form six, a boy doing form three and the last set of twins doing grade two. I’m fortunate the teachers understand my plight,” said Matsito, hardly audible.

The musician rose from the dry plains of Chipinge to become a beloved icon in the ’90s. Ngwenya Brothers was founded by three brothers — Jabulani, Mike and Tedious. Albert, the oldest, was a musician but not an active one. Both Mike and Jabulani are now late. Hit songs like “Nyaradzo”, “Madiro”, “Rudo Inzira”, “Ndiripamusungo” and “Manyemwe Emhuru” speak volumes about the work of the beleaguered star.

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