Francis “Franco Slomo” Dhaka has taken a swipe at fellow “rebels” who have returned to Alick Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo, describing the trio as “cowards” who cannot stand on their own in the dog-eat-dog music industry.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Franco Slomo, guitarist Noel Nyazanda, drummer Obert Gomba and chanter Jonas Kasamba ditched Macheso in 2013 to form their own project, Extra Kwazvose. However, the quartet struggled and failed to attract fans at their shows, which left them in financial difficulties.
Gomba and Kasamba have rejoined Macheso while Nyazanda is reported to be on his way back.
In a recent interview with The Standard Style, Franco Slomo said he will stay put at Extra Kwazvose despite having been “betrayed” by fellow colleagues whom he described as “faint-hearted”. The dancer-cum-singer refuted reports that he was also returning to Orchestra Mberikwazvo, insisting he was working on a new album with a new-look Extra Kwazvose.
“It is true that some members have rejoined that band [Orchestra Mberikwazvo] but I haven’t and I will not because I have my own band which is doing well,” Franco Slomo said.
“When someone makes a decision, they should not think twice or have doubts, they rather should be prepared to face all the hardships, including hunger.”
Slomo, who has penned a five-track album set for release next month, explained its title, Chiringenzira as a statement on how he will not succumb and cowardly dump his project like fellow “rebels”, even in light of poor incomes.
The pint-sized singer who gathered a myriad of fans during his days at Orchestra Mberikwazvo where he mesmerised thousands with his nimble-footedness, added that the rumour is now affecting his career.
“People should not peddle such lies because in the end they affect my brand as my fans end up not turning up for shows thinking I will not give my best,” he said.
“You can come and see for yourself the progress we are making as a band at our shows.”
He lauded his current band members, while imploring sungura lovers to give them a chance by listening to the forthcoming album.
The talented dancer had a brief stint at Sulumani Chimbetu’s Ochestra Dendera Kings before forming Extra Kwazvose, which triggered a short-lived impulse among sungura fans that, however, died with time.
Macheso told The Standard Style recently that he was not shutting the door for any “rebel”.
“The door is wide open for any member to return. I am ready to work with anyone, including Franco Slomo, because they are just like my children,” Macheso said.
Macheso is riding high with his 10th studio album, Tsoka Dzerwendo, which sold 100 000 copies on the first day of its release. The new album has also boosted attendance at his shows, which are now drawing full house.