From the days when the whole nation used to be crazy about the Chimbetu brothers, led by Simon Chopper, Naison Doctor Nero, Briam and Allan, to this day when their sons and daughters and of course with their uncle Allan still around, the dendera beat has never fallen short.
Zimbabwean music was dealt a huge blow after the Chimbetu brothers died one after the other, leaving young Allan to take charge of the whole empire.
As if that was not enough, just two years after taking over, Allan was deserted by the entire band, deviating to his nephew Sulumani.
In earnest, what should have been the death of the dendera beat, became more of its rejuvenation, as the young man rode on the sympathy of dendera fans until he carved his own niche.
Today, Sulumani has become one of the biggest musicians in the land, commanding the biggest following compared to musicians of his age.
On the other hand, there is Tryson, who was barely 20 when his father died.
At first, he seemed swayed by indiscipline and excessive drinking, like his father, but he has the charisma and the vocal ability that can match Chopper’s. His agility on stage, choreography and costume leave many awestruck at his abilities.
With the help of another musician, Alick Macheso, Tryson has grown to be a better musician.
Saiwe, one of Chopper’s daughters, is another marvellous singer who broke into the music mainstream as a backing vocalist in Sam Mtukudzi’s now defunct AY Band. She is currently working on a gospel album which is due early next year.
The newest member is Douglas Chimbetu, son to Allan, who has taken the scene by storm. He joins his cousins who have been on the scene for a longer period.
In Zimbabwe, there are also a few other Zimbabwean families that can be termed music families, one of which is the Mtukudzi family, starting from Oliver himself.
Three of his children have followed in their father’s footsteps starting from Selmor, Sandra and the now late Sam.
Numerous other musicians have had their children following in their parents’ footsteps but none have been as constantas the Chimbetus.
The Jackson and the Morgan family which makes up the reggae group Morgan Heritage, are probably the biggest well-known music families in the world.
The Jackson family is an American family of singers who originated in Gary, Indiana. Performing as members of The Jackson 5 and as solo artists, the children of Joseph Walter and Katherine Esther Jackson influenced and shaped the sound of popular music.
As a group, the eldest sons Jackie (Sigmund Esco “Jackie” Jackson), Tito (Toriano Adaryll “Tito” Jackson), Jermaine (Jermaine La Jaune Jackson), Marlon (Marlon David Jackson), and Michael (Michael Joseph Jackson), set the family on a path of musical success that spread among siblings Rebbie, La Toya, Randy and Janet.
The acclaim of The Jackson 5, led the group to become known as the “First Family of Soul” (a title first held by the Five Stairsteps); the continued success of Michael and Janet’s careers as solo artists led the Jacksons to become known as the “Royal Family of Pop”.
Eight of the nine Jackson siblings (excluding La Toya) have gold records to their credit.
Morgan Heritage on the other hand is a reggae band formed in 1994 by five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan, namely Peetah Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy “Gramps” Morgan, Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan and Memmalatel “Mr Mojo” Morgan.