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Proggy: Of fame divorced from Fortune

Honorable Thursdays with Tinashe Kaviya

Progress Chipfumo

 

THEY say suits can change a man while music with all its elements, can transform even the stonehearted to be noble men.

Politics, on the other hand, we can assume it is that choir boy that just seem to want to dominate and sing loudly even when the music has stopped. With politicians just as they say about women, one cannot live with them or without them – it is strange.

Imagine good suits and music and well, that choir boy, such was the cocktail that music fans were served at Jazz 24/7 on Wednesday evening. Progress Chipfumo is no stranger to the world of good music, many confess that he is one of the most underrated musicians on the local scene; his is however a case of fame divorced from fortune.

His skills on the lead guitar, vocal ability and composition creativity are indeed a rare find, but for a man with such a befitting description, his progress seems to be stagnant.

With a career spanning years, the artist has remained in the musical sidelines, leaving many to conclude that the 39-year-old is cursed, something he, of course, dismisses.

In the run up to the launch of his 6th album titled, Progress Check, the former Hohodza Band vocalist, who in the past has been accused of unprofessionalism, confessed that he was now a changed man and has since roped in Joseph Matawu as manager.

If suits do change men and if the “new man” gospel is real then Progress Chipfumo chose the right way to introduce his new album and new persona yesterday. Clad in a blue stripped designer suit, Chipfumo ushered his band, also clad in suits to the stage to perform two songs for guest of honour Minister of Sports and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane.

 

Patrons in the packed Jazz 24/7 could be heard marveling the on-point Chipfumo, one lady fan shouted “mapfekedza Baba Marlon suit, zvavakatofitwa wena”.

This was the first time for many, even for this writer to see Progress Chipfumo in a suit, better still a designer one. Official proceedings started with speeches from National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Promoters and artist representatives before guest of honour Makosini Hlongwane delivered a key note address officially launching the album.

Speeches ranged from issues to do with gross national happiness, unity among artists and fighting piracy. Speakers also took turns to heap praise on Progress Chipfumo.

Sulu Chimbetu who spoke on behalf of the artists took the opportunity to announce that he once bought a lead guitar for Chipfumo while declaring that it is his present to Chipfumo on the occasion of the album launch despite the fact that Chipfumo has been using the guitar for more than a month now.

Sulu also pleaded with music fans to support local music and Zim-Asset, yes, that Zim-Asset much to the amusement of patrons.

After the official proceedings, Chipfumo took fans on a thrilling set, mixing old and new hits of his album. Of note, Chipfumo was joined by Clive Mono Mukundu on stage and it was a showcase of arguably two of the best guitarists in Zimbabwe, on the same stage, all playing lead.

The album launch was a huge success with many players in the music industry taking time to support Progress Chipfumo.

Notable faces like in the crowd included socialite Wanisai Tendai “Mahwindo” Mutandwa, poet Chirikure Chikure, famed

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