Award winning music director Simbarashe Magureyi has put the late music director Mr Paul Zvatinoda Gandanzara’s family anthem Rwendo Urwu on notes as a way to honour him and his illustrious contributions to music.

The notated version of the song will be compiled onto a CD and presented to the family for posterity.

In an interview with Cranborne UMC Communications (CC), Magureyi (SM) described Gandanzara as a friend whose unique approach to music will be sadly missed by those who came into contact with him.

Read on..

CC: Condolences indeed on the passing of this musical icon in our church. We saw a bit of clips you compiled doing some songs he popularised and now you have put the famiy anthem on musical notation. Tell us about it?

SM: Rwendo Urwu is a Gandanzara clan anthem. They would sing it all the times and at all gatherings they would meet as a clan.

It’s a preamble for them to keep holding strong until they reach the bar which is getting to heaven.

I then listened to the Gandanzara people sing the song in honour of Sekuru Zvatinoda Paul Gandazara (at the burial). I then decoded the melody, harmonies, rhythms as well as the Metre/time signature of the pieces as well as the lyrics just by listening.

I then transcribed the music and typeset it on musical scores and made a sound file with all parts sounded by string instruments. (2 violins 🎻 a viola and a violoncello)

CC: Take us through the structure of the song.

SM: Structure. It’s in strophic form which is verse and chorus oriented.
One person starts the piece and the others come in to respond. So it’s call and response which is typical of African music.

Then they end up calling each and everyone’s name to applaud them for raising the flag high and working for the goal.

CC: What motivated and inspired you to do this?

SM: I felt it needed to be put on paper and sound file for archiving in honour of Sekuru Paul. It would also help people to remember the musicianship of “Bla G” as he was the lead vocalist of the piece by

1. Singing the music
2. Listening to the music

It would also be a musical souvenir to Mbuya Amai Middy( wife Julia) and to the family and tribe as well in remembrance and commemoration of the great music director and singer.

CC: How do you describe your relationship with Sekuru Gandanzara?

SM: He was a good friend. I first knew him when i was still leading the choirs at Seke South and he would always introduce me to his fellow choir members. He understood my approaches and musical strategies when it comes to my work hence he called me shamwari yangu. We were close that he would call me Sunday morning to check if i am coming to church. He wanted us to sing certain songs together. He was a great music analyst. He would always be armed with a pen and paper at music festivals adjudicating and would often check with me the margins in terms of his marks. Most times than not he was on point. He would at times ditch his own choir just to watch my performance. He really loved my music and music in general.

CC: How best can Cranborne Circuit and indeed the music fraternity prolong and safeguard his legacy?

SM: As a music practitioner and music educator, for starts lets sing this song. Its not difficult. Record this song in the studio perhaps one with an instrumental and present it to the family. It then has to be played time and again in church services before it starts and at functions as a way of remembering the man.

Secondly, by the time he passed, the main choir was largely dormant and his demise served as a resurrection of the choir. Lets sing the old pieces he liked. Some of the songs from the interviews i watched of him talking about his musical career dating from the late 60s from Hartzell Mission can be rescuscitated in his honour, added to the repetoire.

Thirdly, the barbaque quartet style can introduced featuring four or five people just like he did with the Global Good Hope Quartet. That can bring back the artistic style of music he loved. The moments he lived in, Its something we can think about, something that can rejuvenate the old time religion in song.

The Vabvuwi choir can dedicated the next album in his honour, pick some of the songs he loved and perhaps someone like Jonah Bepete does a recital, in song, in chant for purposes of archiving and documentation.

For the musical fraternity, we can do compositions for these fallen giants, probably having compositions on a set piece for festivals in remembrance of these people. Often some of them stand to be forgotten easily, we need to guard against that. Its not just Sekuru Gandanzara. We have the Simbarashe Gwatiringas, Richard Chitiyo, Ernerst Mupfunya, Baba Mugochi, the list goes on. They made our church music spread around Zimbabwe that now you hear our music in public places. They are people who made things happen, Sekuru Gandanzara included. I think at the next festivals we can have a composition with specific mentions to remember these icons detailing their accomplishments and contributions.

CC: Thank you Mr Magureyi for sharing these moments and insight with us

SM: My pleasure

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