Saturday, 20 May 2017

Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave -- What The Hell Were You Thinking?

She came into the spotlight with the rise of Jah Prayzah as part of his talent-laden Third Generation Band.And she made history there by getting fired twice.

Born Evidence Mudzingo, Generator is a talented dancer and singer. She has jumped from one band to the other, leaving a trail of confusion and heartache in her wake.

Nonetheless, top musicians still seek her services. Her latest victim is Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave.

But look at me rushing ahead of myself. I should really start by welcoming you to this brand new column, in this fresh and vibrant section of your favourite newspaper, The Sunday Mail.

Mtandazo Dube Bolt Cutter
I have been on these pages before — picture and all — but running with something different. I concentrated mainly on a genre of the arts I love so much, theatre. I have continued to ensure it gets its deserved space in this esteemed publication.

My young brother Taku (Takudzwa Chihambakwe) has taken over that role. Thespians and theatre aficionados heap the young man with so much praise it makes me green with envy. Perhaps I should take that column back from him!
Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave
Seriously though, the coming on board of younger arts writers like Taku and Drew (Andrew Moyo), and the growth in the business of seasoned writers like Prince Mushawevato leaves me with what they call in soccer, a free role.

I can drift wide, go deep to collect the ball, stay central or run in behind the strikers as we build a winning strategy in this highly competitive, dog-eat-dog arena called the Zimbabwean arts industry.

To some it’s the arts, to others it is showbiz while many just view it simply as entertainment.

But believe you me, it is no showbiz, entertainment or art when one or two people decide to put the livelihoods of dozens of Zimbabwean artistes in jeopardy.

I’m talking here about the decision by two of Fungisai’s band members not to come back with the rest of the team after their performances in the UK.

This behaviour places greater yet unnecessary scrutiny on the rest of the artistes that may want to travel not only to the UK but to the US, EU and other countries that are not fond of immigrants.

With all the global politics going on right now with regards to immigrants, why would someone do something that could cause Fungisai to be denied a visa next time she wants to tour the UK?

What Rachael Maketa and Generator have done was completely uncalled for.

Next Wednesday, their visas expire and if by then they have not returned, they officially become illegal immigrants in the UK, adding to an already huge number of unwelcome guests in that country.

Upon return Fungisai was hopeful, telling reporters that all was well and that the two band members would “follow soon”.

They are still not back. Last week Fungisai told us that she would have no choice but report them to the British Embassy if they overstayed.

“Their visas expire on the 10th (of May). I don’t know — maybe they decided to extend their stay to fully utilise their visas. Hopefully they will come back before the visas expire,” said Fungisai, adding, “Otherwise I would have to report them to the British Embassy because they did not report for departure and I have not heard from them since.”

The “Vanondibatirana” singer is worried that this may affect her future tours.

“If they don’t return that would be really sad because you never know how it may affect our future tours. I can only trust others with my life, but I have no control over what they do in return.”

The singer even volunteered the two runaways’ phone numbers saying, “Here are their numbers vakakudaira utondiudzawo (if they answer you please tell me).”

A friend of Generator who spoke on condition of anonymity said he and others close to the singer knew of her plans to stay behind in the UK.

“When she was going for rehearsals we were actually laughing. We knew she would not be coming back with the band, Generator is troublesome, everyone knows that,” said the friend.

Quizzed further, he said unless the authorities caught up with her, there was no way Generator was coming back. “Haasi kudzoka blaz, akazvironga (She is not coming back my brother, she had it all planned.)”

Fungisai knows Generator.

She gave her a home after Jah Prayzah fired her. The stories of how Generator lied that she formed a band yet it belonged to Jairos Chabvonga cannot have escaped her. When Generator was pushed out of Sam Dondo’s band for “gross insubordination” and fired by several other bands she lent her vocal and dancing skills to, Fungisai must have seen the stories in local newspapers.

So why did she take the risk of flying with her to the UK?
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