Remembering Jangano’s enduring influence

24 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Remembering Jangano’s enduring influence Jangano died on November 27, 2015 aged 80

The Sunday Mail

Clive Mono Mukundu

ON March 16, 2024, the Jangano family, their close relatives and musician friends came together at Westlea Gardens for the unveiling of Greenford “Green” Jangano’s tombstone.

The proceedings began at Warren Hills in the morning with a smaller ceremony conducted by the family.  I talked to several modern musicians who claimed they were not familiar with Green Jangano.  In my opinion, it is essential for every musician to be knowledgeable about Jangano’s life and the significant impact he had on the arts industry. There is a great deal to gain from this exceptional talent.

I met with Charles, son of the famous musician, who is currently in the country, away from his United States base. During our conversation, he shared interesting details about his father’s life.

According to Charles, his father was born in Manicaland on January 13, 1935.

After completing his secondary education, he moved to Harare in search of job opportunities. It was in the capital that he crossed paths with another musician named William Chiguma, and together they formed a band.

This marked the beginning of his musical journey. Charles shared a story about his father’s exceptional professionalism, emphasising how he always insisted on having a signed contract before accepting any job.

He also mentioned how the late musician was skilled in ensuring that he consistently delivered on his commitments.

“His life carries a lot of lessons for the younger generation, like how he insisted on starting shows on time and never allowing any of his band members to drink beer on stage,” said Charles.

“He was also very strict about dressing; everyone had to be very smart.”

Clancy Mbirimi, a well-known bass player and music producer, shared similar sentiments. Mbirimi said he became part of the Harare Mambo Band in 1975, when they required a second band to continue playing at Machipisa Beerhall in Highfield, after securing a contract at Hotel Elizabeth in the then City of Salisbury. This marked the establishment of the Harare Mambo B Band.

“Mr Green was a blessing to work with in many ways. He not only treated the other band members like family, but he also treated me like his son. Discipline was everything to him. You changed completely both on and off stage. Everything I am today is a result of his advice,” he said.

Mbirimi further highlighted that Jangano was strict on the band’s music volume during shows, particularly in hotels.

Jangano, he said, made it a point that the sound of cutlery was distinctly audible over the music.  However, he still expresses surprise at how they were able to play at the lowest volume level and still find enjoyment in it.

Tanga Wekwa Sando — a trombonist, guitarist and singer — also speaks highly of the late musician.

Tanga began his career with the Harare Mambos at the young age of 17, initially joining as a trumpeter while he was still doing Form Four at Highfield Secondary School.

“As our band leader, he gave us confidence and discipline. Even during the ‘vanhu vemagitare marombe’ era, we were perhaps even more respected and admired than doctors,” said Tanga.

He argued that Jangano was probably one of the first music entertainment entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, as the group boasted at least six Harare Mambo Band units scattered across resort areas at one point. Jangano, who had a long career in the music industry, retired in 2000. William Kashiri, who was a member of the group from 1965 to 1999; James Chimombe; Newton Kanengoni; Elisha Josamu; Jonathan Nyoni; Virginia Sillah; and Paul Sillah are some of the various artistes he worked with.

Jangano died on November 27, 2015 aged 80.


Clive Mono Mukundu is a music producer, composer and guitarist. He writes in his personal capacity.

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