Tendai’s new album honours dad

Tendai Chimombe, daughter to the late musician James Chimombe, is confident of stepping out of her father’s shadow and making her own mark as an artist.

Tendai Chimombe
Tendai Chimombe

The eldest of Chimombe’s children, Tendai said she was dedicating her new album – scheduled for release before the end of July – to her father, as indicated by the title: Tribute to the Legendary James Chimombe.

The album features six original tracks and two remixes of her father’s hits Jemedza and Masutu.

Although her father was supportive of her love for music, he warned her of pitfalls in the industry. “He said there were a lot of temptations and it required perseverance and self-control,” she said, adding that some of her father’s colleagues had tried to get him to allow her to sing early on. But he was adamant that she completed her education first.

“People like Fred Zindi approached him to allow me to sing with the Frontline Kids, but he said I was still too young,” she said. “Even after his death the likes of Clive Malunga, Louis Mhlanga and Simangaliso Tutani wanted me to sing – but I wasn’t strong enough. I mourned my father for a very long time”.

She said even hearing her father’s music on radio was difficult so she tried to stay away from the music industry. “I have since sung with Emmanuel Thomas, the late Nyasha Bare and some of my father’s former band members,” Tendai said.

Her father remains the biggest influence on her career. “I grew up listening to his songs. We used to listen to his music together. He entertained, he educated and he inspired through his music,” said Tendai, who plays drums, acoustic guitar and mbira.

“I know I will be compared to the children of other musicians who have also taken up their parents’ mantles. Many of my father’s fans are saying I should do it and I want to do it because the music is in me and I am doing it for the love of the music,” she said.

Tendai is planning a tribute concert for her father involving other artists later this year.

Post published in: Arts

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