From Kadoma, a town known for gold deposits and not the arts, sungura musician Okombekombe has vowed that his background and where he comes from won’t deter him from becoming one of the top contenders in the dog-eat-dog industry.
By Sindiso Dube
For Okombekombe, real name Nyiketani Chauke, it does not matter that he started doing music professionally this year. He already has two albums to his name: Hatitye and Wrong Turn which he recorded with renowned Harare-based producer Clive Mono Mukundu of Monolio Studios and Taffy Productions respectively.
Both albums’ messages focus on social issues that are faced by the everyday people; love, life’s hardships, family and worshiping God.
The 44-year-old says Okombekombe is a name he was given after Dr Frank Laubach and it means mender of old baskets. He said it took him long to make music because of the challenges artists face in Kadoma.
“Everyone from Kadoma can testify to how hard it is to make music from the city; we don’t have radio stations, promoters, quality studios even newspapers. So it would seem like a waste of time to make music, but I couldn’t let my talent go down like that, hence I have decided to take the bull by its horns,” Okombekombe said.
“Good producers, radio stations and promoters are all in Harare and other bigger cities like Bulawayo. But that doesn’t mean we should tire, hence I travel to Harare for production and marketing, like next week I have radio interviews in Harare.”
Working with prominent producer Mukundu on his debut album has stirred Okombekombe’s confidence.
“I had the privilege of working with Mono, he is the most sought-after producer. When you work with him, you won’t be the same again. He shared so much knowledge and skill with me. He made me believe that I can hold my own among the top sungura and rhumba artists in the country,” he said.
“I wish to work with the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi and Diamond Musica; I want to represent Kadoma and show the world that the city doesn’t just produce gold the mineral but also golden music.”