Tribute To Zim's Mbira Guru

Renowned musician Victor Kunonga who worked with Chisvo for five years described Chisvo as a ‘star’ at his game and ‘was so full of life and a lot to live for’.

“Its sad news our brother has passed away. He was battling diabetes. He died early this morning at Harare Central Hospital,” said Kunonga on Wednesday.

Chisvo is well known for his 11 track album, titled “Famba Pore Pore” produced in 2009 and for backing many musicians including Oliver Mtukudzi, Chiwoniso, Willom Tight, Charles Summerfield and Busi Ncube.
The album recorded by Thulani music promotions is a journey through Chisvo’s own musical experiences. He featured on Chiwoniso’s new album “Rebel Woman”, Willom Tights “Kuzangoma” and Oliver Mutukudzi’s “Tsoka”.

From his early experiences with Ilanga, through to his long term association with Andy Brown and the Storm, and leading into his successful partnership with Chiwoniso Maraire, Chisvo provided the essential backbone to these legendary musical groups and remains an icon of the mbira circuit.

Regular patrons of the Book Cafe and Mannenburg will remember him as that smiling gentle giant who used to entertain them every week. The ambience that his music used to bring to the coin-joined places will be soley missed.

Artists lobby group Artists for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT) said in a condolence message, “we will profoundly remember him as a peace loving musician who always stood ready to participate in the development of his country.”

So influential was Chisvo in promoting mbira as a frontline musical instrument in Zimbabwe. He patiently built his own musical career by nursing the mbira instrument. Chisvo composed all the songs and incorporates a full backing band to augment the multi-level polyrhythms of his amazing mbira playing skills.

In April he commandeered a fantastic multi-concerting performance which left many revellers at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) spell bound.

At the time of his death, he was busy promoting his album with live shows around Harare. Apart from performing in Zimbabwe, Chisvo had become a household name not only in Zimbabwe but also in the region.

Mourners are gathered in Mbare, 46 Chatima Road, Harare.