Although veteran gospel musician Mechanic Manyeruke was always diplomatic when discussing his son Guspy Warrior’s dancehall music, something in his expressions and responses betrayed a feeling of disappointment.
As a singer who understands the diversity of art and a father who faces unexpected decisions that some children take due to the generation gap, Baba Manyeruke tolerated his son Emmanuel’s decision to be a warrior of Zimdancehall, a genre that is associated with violence, dirty lyrics and drugs.
Manyeruke has been a warrior in gospel music for many years, buoyed by his roots in the Salvation Army, a church founded on military background.
Music followers can only imagine how the old man feels when watching images of sexually-suggestive dances on Guspy Warrior’s “Seunononga” video.
And many should have forgiven Manyeruke when he said he had never seriously listened to his son’s music, but incidentally heard the songs on radio and watched the videos on television. He portrayed tolerance, but was far from being amused.
Now, things seem to be changing rapidly and Manyeruke’s tone has changed. Guspy Warrior is ready to do a gospel collaboration with his father. It seems the young musician has been inspired by the success of his brother Alexander’s debut album “Bukira Revhangeri”.
The acceptance of the album, spurred by the hit “Fambai Neni”, has also brought relief to Manyeruke. Alexander’s music is similar to his father’s in beat and vocals, which has led Manyeruke to suggest his 34-year-old son could take over his legacy.
With Guspy Warrior’s indication that he is gearing for a family collaboration on a gospel note, Manyeruke is now a happy man.
The veteran gospel musician says sees an heir in Alexander and is optimistic that his prayers about Guspy Warrior’s music are now being answered.
“A person does not repent over a day. It is a process. I am happy that Emmanuel has been going to church over the past years and I am convinced that the sermons he has been receiving are moulding him to maturity,” said Manyeruke.
I have gone on preaching missions and sometimes people do not take the gospel immediately. Sometimes the gospel sinks in their heart slowly and bears fruit after sometime. I see such signs in Emmanuel and I can happily say the three of us will be in the studio soon doing a collaboration.
“It is good as a father to see your sons taking after you. I am happy that Alexander has led by example and proved he can keep the legacy going. Even if I die today, I am convinced he has the capacity to take over musically.”
Manyeruke said since Alexander’s music became popular, people have been asking about him.
“Many times I meet people who ask about him. It means his music has been accepted well. I cannot say Emmanuel is wrong in pursuing dancehall. He is doing what most youths are doing. I am happy he has realised that we can work in this art as a family. Even if he continues with his dancehall, I believe his beliefs as a Christian will shape his lyrics and the whole complexion of his music.”
Manyeruke believes Alexander will take music professionally and find a common ground with his brother to keep the family legacy alive.
“Their grandfather — my father — was a singer. I am a singer. They are also singers and we are now working together. After the collaboration, I hope to see more family work in this art.
‘‘Yes, we have different tastes of music styles and we grew up in different environments but what matters at the end of it all is to keep the music going. I am happy with the idea of using our music together to preach the word. I am a very happy man now. It shows I have imparted something important to my children.”
Alexander said he will do his best to create a brand that lives for a long time and is glad people have received him well.
“I never thought I would be a musician. It was a decision I just made overnight. I used to sing at church without considering going solo. Because I do something else for a living, music was a distant option. I did this album as trial and I am happy it has been received well. I thank God for it and I hope we will go to a higher level,” said Alexander.
On the other hand, Guspy Warrior says he is a Christian and will not have any challenges in working on gospel music with his father and brother. He says he pursues Zimdancehall because of the influences of his age groups, but will be happy to work with his father who has more experience in the industry.
Guspy Warrior is not quitting Zimdancehall, but he is prepared to work with his father and brother in any project.