By Trevor Makonyonga
A St Martin’s Visual and Performing Arts teacher, Freemental Nhembo has released a ten track album titled Rozvi.
Nhembo said that this album will motivate his learners to take the subject seriously.
He said, “The album will motivate them greatly. As I am their teacher and this being my product, I hope that the learners will be inspired and take seriously the talent identification and grooming which we do at school. As a result of the same, I got groomed from primary up to now where I am teaching VPA. This has to be an inspiration.”
Nhembo also teamed up with his VPA teaching colleague, Peacemaker Bundu, on some of the tracks on the album.
“I work with Bundu everytime so it was good to take our bromance to the booth. Mr Bundu played drums on Matambanapasi as well backing vocals and drums on Bhuru Rangu. It was very easy to work together and I hope it will encourage learners to have teamwork,” Nhembo said.
The album is a multi-genre project which has Mbira backing.
“The album has multiple genres backed by mbira and marimba. We tried to make it appeal to different listeners. Rozvi can be listened to by everyone. Having a traditional musoc background, I am a little biased towards that but we did our best to appeal to as many people. As for the band members who recorded, they worked on different times since the project is mixture of recordings done in different years put together on one album. The people who worked on the album are Costa Mabani, Somerset Nhembo, Masimba Matyatya, Cleopas Fore , Garry Chiusaru, Silas Mashonganyika and Peacemaker Bundu.”
As a VPA teacher at St Martin’s Convent, Nhembo has led the learners to multiple accolades which include the Albert Chimedza National Interschools Mbira Awards, Allied Arts, Nick Manomano Allied Marimba Challenge Trophy ,Tambarimba Festival among others.
Born in 1972 and educated in Chitungwiza, Nhembo’s musical imprint is shaped almost solely on the biggest high density suburb of Zimbabwe. He completed advanced training in traditional dances at Simango Muchongoyo group where he did choreography. He also was an actor with Hunters Theatre Company. Nhembo then formed Gandamasungo in 1993 which started as a family group. He then joined and recorded with Matemai playing keyboards on the album Chikwambo. Nhembo was also part of the Maestros where he played rhythm guitar.
He is a founder member Madendera Ekumabvazuva Mbira Group, Chitangazuva Mbira, Dungwiza mbira and was Mbuya Stella Chiwesha’s lead guitarist.