‘Wapenga Nayo Bonus’ hit-maker Patrick Mukwamba bounces back

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HE gained popularity during his short stint with The Four Brothers in 1983-84 after the release of “Wapenga Nayo Bonus”. He became so popular that the group was called Patrick Mukwamba and the Four Brothers. Now based in Rusape, Patrick Mukwamba has been quiet for two decades. He is back with a single, ‘‘Mafaro Kubhawa’’.

Mukwamba started his career in the late 1960s with the Carnations Band. He was a nomadic artiste who jumped from one band to another. He teamed up with The Pop Settlers whowere based in Mutare before moving to another Mutare-based band, Tanganda Tycoons. He later went on to join Rollicking Band in Victoria Falls. He left for Mhangura Mine where he joined Hallelujah Chicken Run Band as a replacement for Thomas Mapfumo who had left the band. He moved on to join The Seasons Band.

“I started singing in 1967. My brother had a song book which contained songs of Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard, to mention but just a few. We used to share the songs and I would imitate a lot of English songs. This helped me when I went to Victoria Falls Casino Hotel where I would sing and entertain whites in the early 1970s. I joined The Four Brothers in 1983 and we recorded ‘Zvinonaka Zvinodhura’ and the following year, we did ‘Tosangana Ikoko’ album which had eight tracks,” he said.

Mukwamba felt that The Four Brothers betrayed him as they left him behind when they went for shows abroad. He said they were riding on his fame since he was the one who wrote most of the songs.

“One of the promoters, Cephas Chimanga, wanted to take us to Canada, but The Four Brothers said that I was not part of the group. The late Marshall Munhumumwe, who was a very good lead vocalist, replaced me,” he said.

In 1985, he joined the Seasons Band and recorded ‘‘Usanyare Basa Raunoita’’ before recording ‘‘Zvemadzimai’’ in 1986. He resettled in Rusape in 1990 and released a hit song, ‘‘Nhamo Yekufambira Zvikwereti’’ the following year. After two-decades-long break, Mukwamba is trying to get back into showbiz. He is also trying his hand as a sculptor. – Manica Post