The Sunday Mail
Gilbert Munetsi and Forward Nyanyiwa
IN the world of music, as in any other sector, careful retrospect helps guide the next step.
That is what Sounds of the Motherland frontman, Progress Chipfumo, sought to do with his latest offering “Progress Check”, launched three weeks ago in Harare.
The rave previews carried by the local media in the countdown to the big day were, after all, not hyperbole.
The 10-track “Progress Check” is an assessment by this musical genius of a journey travelled over the last 13 years, beginning with the release of “Progress Report”. Succeeding efforts were “Tsiurika”, “Ndinovatenda Nei”, “Hold My Hand” and “Let them Know”.
And like wine that gets better with age, so has Brand Chipfumo matured as exhibited in the material that makes up the latest album.
“Progress Check”, which was recorded at Monolio Studios and Maselo Productions, carries the songs “Chikuru Rudo”, “Vakarohwa Mai”, “Tokwe Mukosi”, “Look up the Sky”, “I Say Yes”, “Siyai Vakure”, “Rega Zvipore”, “Dai Ndaizviziva” and “Vabereki”.
Guest of honour at the launch, Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane, said: “Progress has since the turn of the millennium exhibited a resilient spirit that has seen him remain with a head held high above the musical waters when many others have fallen by the wayside owing to a plethora of reasons. Chief among these have been the dynamics of the economy.
“He is blessed with a good voice and artistic skill to explore the guitar and in line with Government policy, the parent ministry will strive to ensure traditional media such as radio and television prioritises the promotion of local talent through the consumption of respective products on such platforms. It is fact that music is under attack from new media hence there is great need for players in the industry to also adapt to the new realities of, for example, social media.”
Among the list of dignitaries who graced the red-carpet launch ceremony were Zimbabwe Cricket chair Tavengwa Mukuhlani, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe deputy director Nicholas Moyo, and Ms Anna Moyo from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Promoters, arts journalists and a long list of colleagues in the music industry came to support Chipfumo.
Suluman Chimbetu, who was also present, described Chipfumo as an elder brother whom he used to watch on television from childhood.
Chimbetu gave Chipfumo a lead guitar as a gift, which the recipient used throughout his performance, while a fan pledged to give him three goats.
An autographed copy of the new album was sold for US$3 000.