Leonard Dembo who was affectionately known as ‘Musoro weNyoka’ was a talented Zimbabwean Sungura musician, songwriter and a guitarist who rose to stardom with his hit “Chitekete” which was played as a signature tune at the 1996 Miss World Pageant which was held in Namibia.
Here are some of the things you didnt know about Leonard below!!!!
1. Dembo was born Kwangwarai Gwaindepi on 6 February 1959 in Chivi in Masvingo to Sukai Pasipanodaya and died on 9 April 1996.
2. He grew up being catered for by his mother in the absence of a father who had left the family.
3. He went to different primary schools in Buhera, Bulawayo and he finally completed his primary education at Chembira Primary School in Mbare. From Chembira, he relocated to Bulawayo in search of employment. He however relocated to Harare after 1980.
4. It is reported that at age 9, Dembo was already interested in music and was determined to be a musician. After having failed to secure a job in Bulawayo, he focused more on developing his music career.
5. Dembo joined the Spiders Band which was based in Zvimba together with Cyril Chinyani.
6. In 1982, he relocated to Harare where he joined The Outsiders and he subsequently released his first hit single, Venenzia. He left the group and joined the Five Notes releasing songs such as “Mainge Majaira Matsotsi”.
7. In 1985, he formed his band the Barura Express recording a number of songs that have stood the test time and still have relevance, decades after their composition. Although ‘Venenzia’ was described by many as a timeless hit, it was “Chitekete” that really established Dembo as a distinct artist.
8. Dembo is said to have been a very camera shy artists who only managed to record just two videos in his music career. Dembo shared the stage with other prominent African musicians such as Kanda Bongo Man and Sakis at the Harare International Conference Centre.
9. It is widely speculated that although Dembo only recorded two videos, the family is said to have videos of the Barura Express legend holding live shows at Sodart Hall in Mbare, Rusununguko Beerhall in Chitungwiza and Mukoba Stadium in Gweru.
10. After having succumbed to a severe nose bleed after a show in Makoni in 1995, Leonard Dembo never fully recovered. The musician is said to have continued suffering from acute headaches and at times partial hearing that were all a result of the severe blood loss caused by the nose bleeding.