Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha
Harare, Zimbabwe – The late mbira and konga virtuoso, Adam Chisvo, 48, who died early Wednesday morning of diabetes complications, will be buried in Makanyazvingwa Village, Seke tomorrow. Social network platforms such as Facebook were abuzz yesterday with people expressing shock and condolences at the news of Chisvo’s death.
According to Chisvo’s uncle, Ngoni Zindoga, when the musician left his humble lodgings in Mbare to go Harare Hospital, he could barely talk.
“He spoke a little when the doctors where attending to him asking why he was being attended to by the doctors and then he went silent and passed away,” said Zindoga.
It is unclear whether Chisvo was aware that he was diabetic. Zindoga said non of Chisvo’s immediate family and relatives were aware that the musician was diabetic.
“No-one in the family knew that he was diabetic, but some musicians that came to pay their respects intimated that Chisvo once talked about being diabetic,” said Zindoga, adding that Chisvo will be remembered for his humility and ability to work with many talented artists.
Diabetes is a lifelong disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adulthood and many people with the conditions do not know they have it. According to experts, the number of people with diabetes in Zimbabwe is growing. In 2003, Zimbabwe recorded more than 90 000 cases of diabetes, an increased of 3 000 from the 1997 figure. The Diabetes Association of Zimbabwe estimates that around 400 000 people in the country have the disease but many are unaware on their condition.
Mourners, including the who’s who in Zimbabwe’s music industry, were already trickling in to pay their last respects at the Chisvo homestead. Among them were Oliver Mtukudzi, Charles Charamba, Kenny Shamba, David Ndoro and Isaac Chirwa.
“We’ve lost a committed musician. His commitment was obvious to music lovers; he was versatile, dedicated and loved his music. He was also quite disciplined and managed to avoid many pitfalls of the industry. Above, he made Mbare proud, and we always love it when someone does that,” said David Ndoro, lead guitarist with popular jazz band, Luck Street Blues.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented musical collaboration, mbira queen, Chiwoniso Maraire, and mbira-punk rock band, chikwata.263, will host a joint performance at the Book Cafe on Saturday. The show is being dedicated to the memory of Chisvo, Chiwoniso’s former mbira player and percussionist.
According to the show organizers, proceeds from the show will be used to help Chisvo’s family. The show which promises to be one 2011′s most exciting gigs will see Chiwoniso amalgamate the versatility and beauty of her voice with chikwata.263′s experimental type of mbira, punk and rock fusion.