'Fame, popularity imprisoned me'

ZORA maestro Leonard Karikoga Zhakata never imagined that he would be famous through music but was just doing it for a lark.

Up to now, he is still struggling to manage his fame.

“Given the choice, I would not want my children to follow my footsteps. I wish that they prosper in life but not through music, I don’t want them to be popular at all,” he said.

“Fame tends to take away one’s freedom and one can never enjoy life freely like any other ordinary person.”
Zhakata told the WeekendPost he is not sure if he has managed his fame well since early 1990s when he released the all-time hit song Mugove which was followed by several others like Upenyu Mutoro, Nhamo Dzenyika and Gomba Remarara among others.

“Up to now, I don’t know kuti ndakagona kumanager fame yangu here,” he said. (Up to now,  I am not sure if I’ve managed my fame well.)

Recently, Zhakata clinched the top three positions on Radio Zimbabwe Coca-Cola Top 50 and the first position on National FM Top 50, relegating Alick Macheso into fourth, fifth and sixth positions with Jah Prayzah was placed a distant number 20, a feat which made him walk away with the $6 000 prize money on offer.

“The wins came at the right time when some people thought I was finished but fans stood with me, sacrificing the little resources they have including airtime to vote and I appreciate that.

“Most of the prize money will go towards charity while the rest will be channelled towards my fans through get-together parties.

“We are going to donate part of the money to less privileged people at Isheanesu Home in Glen View.

“I never budgeted for that money at all just like I did on proceeds I got from my win with Dhonza Makomborero.

“I believe God is using me as an instrument or example to show His grace. My success story has transformed people’s lives differently and I urge the majority of artistes to repent so that they can also enjoy these benefits.”

Zhakata expressed gratitude to fans who voted for him.

“I know people are talking a lot, some saying the victory is a result of prophet Makandiwa’s miracles while others have attributed the success to UFIC congregants but little do they know that Makandiwa last spoke about my career in church way back in 2011 before I even released Gotwe, he rarely talks of artistes’ work in church.

“The only time he talked about my music was when he (Makandiwa) said his father was not a fan of secular music until he came across my music which changed his perception towards secular music. He fell in love with it which later forced him to introduce it to his family.”

Zhakata told the WeekendPost that the wins did not only surprise him alone but even some members of the UFIC.
“I was not the only one shocked by the development as it came as a surprise; even UFIC members were astonished by the victory as the majority of them were not aware of this voting process, however, they have promised to vote this year,” he said. —Vasco Chaya

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