Against Customary Odds: Manyeruke’s journey from premature birth, to a legend

Against Customary Odds: Manyeruke’s journey from premature birth, to a legend

In an exclusive interview with this publication, Ngonidzashe Ronald Gwatidzo (NG) speaks to Zimbabwe’s top gospel legend, Mechanic Manyeruke, popularly known as Baba Manyeruke (BM), who takes us through his life-long journey as an artist, father, and devoted Christian.

NG: You were born prematurely and during those days it was a taboo. How did this affect your childhood growing up?

BM: I was supposed to be dumped as per customary beliefs at the very moment I was born but my father fought society traditions and protected me and my mother adored and loved me so much that I grew up in a friendly and peaceful environment and it built up my self-esteem and confidence and I felt very equal and at place with my peers.

NG: How did you then start to do music professionally and why gospel music?

BM: This was at the age of 11 when I started to learn playing the guitar back in the days known as the (banjo).

The music career started in church and as I grew I became a better singer and that is how my music matured up to date. I choose gospel music because I was born and bred in a Christian environment and I love God, moreover praising him would give me inner peace.

NG: You are also into farming, what could be your advice about time management and income generation to younger artists?

BM: Nothing much in particular but to the younger artists here I would like to urge them to venture into other projects they are passionate about and not depend on music only especially in Africa, the industry is not well paying, hence it cannot sustain someone and his family for a lifetime.

NG: What do you now enjoy doing since you retired from music officially, how is your day like?

BM: Now I enjoy spending most of my time either at my home in town or the farmhouse, however, I enjoy supporting weddings, gospel concerts and any other musical concerts I might be needed because I have retired to minimize the pressure but not out of the industry as such.

NG: How has been the support from your wife and family throughout the journey?

BM: I am very grateful to God for the Lovely wife he gave me because she loves me a lot and she has been supporting me through my musical journey’s ups and downs.

NG: You recently won a global award; how do you feel about that?

BM: I feel surprised because that was the least of my expectations in my entire life and at the same time, I feel honored and humbled to be recognized at a global standard.

NG: What could be your ultimate wish in this life?

BM: I just wish to live a good life and I thank God for setting me as a good example to the world by his grace. However my ultimate wish is to be a full-time farmer, I would love to have my own chicken breeds, livestock and farming fields at large scale, especially now that I have retired.

NG: How has your involvement in the church impacted your music?

BM: This uplifted my music career a lot and it felt like a practice home and away since church (The Salvation Army) is more of a home than a church to me.

NG: Who are some of the artists you listen to in Zimbabwe and across the world?

BM: I love listening to the likes Oliver Mutukudzi (late now), Thomasi Mapfumo, Charles Charamba and Agatha Muridzwa locally and internationally there is Don Willians, Kenny Rogers, Cliff Richard (late now),  Lucky Dube the late, Rebbeca Malope and Sipho Makabani.

NG: Your words of inspiration to young upcoming gospel musicians out there?

BM: To those who want to start and who have already started, I encourage you to seek God’s grace and focus on him and your career, do not let earthly things disrupt your vision, talent and career, and mostly your relationship with God.

Ngonidzashe Ronald Gwatidzo

Ronald Ngonidzashe Gwatidzo is a young, multi talented, self motivated and spiritual driven individual who believes in hard work, resilience, energy and dedication. He is a content creator, writer, actor, broadcast anchor, producer and presenter. He is also an enthusiastic educator and goal getter.

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