Why Macheso breaks down on stage


Alick Macheso has, on some occasions, shed tears on stage while playing the song “Baba” from his current album “Tsoka Dzerwendo” and speculation has been rife over the musician’s emotional attachment to his composition.

At some of the shows, Macheso cuts the song as emotions overcome him and many have been questioning why this particular track touches a soft spot of the musician’s heart when he has penned similar songs before.

The song is about a child who blames his father for neglect and chronicles how his mother had to do tough tasks to fend for him. He says his father left his mother when she was pregnant and never returned.

The song is about the hardships that single mothers in poor communities and their children face. Macheso was raised in a similar situation and he has shown his strong feelings against divorce through songs like “Zvimiro”, “Mai Varubhi” and “Chara Chimwe”, yet none of the tracks brought him to tears on stage.

In an interview on Monday, Macheso opened up on the emotions engraved in “Baba”. It was not an easy account as the musician had to fight back tears when he poured his heart out.

He said other songs with a similar theme were general, but “Baba” is a painful reminder of the hardships he and his mother went through for his upbringing. He could not say why he chose to do the song now.

machesoThe musician said it was also touching that many people that share similar backgrounds with him had been moved by the song and responses at some shows make the performance of “Baba” emotional.

Macheso apparently sang the song for his father whom he only met once and would hardly recognise if they were to meet today.

He did not want to mention his father’s name and chose to stick to his personal account. However, previous information suggests his father’s name is Hudson Chisale.

“I only met him once when I was six years old. He came to visit once at that was all. I have been told a lot about him, but I do not want to talk about it now. I can only tell you how I grew up,” said an emotional Macheso.

“I grew up with my mother and grandmother. I had to adopt my mother’s surname because everyone around me seemed to know that they would be no attachment between father and son. I was too young to know what was happening then.

“What I knew was that I was growing up like an orphan when my father was alive. What I knew was that my mother was always doing her best to make me happy although I could notice she was going through hard times. What I know is that my grandmother would carry me on her back even when I had grown beyond that stage because she wanted me to feel comfortable.

“I could sense the hardships and I always wondered why my father was not doing like other men in our neighbourhood that were looking after their families. You know, farm life is difficult and my childhood was made worse by my situation.

“People I grew up with in Shamva will tell you that it is a miracle to be where I am today. It is entirely by God’s grace and some of my childhood friends still find it hard to believe that I am the boy they always felt sorry for everyday we met at our farm playgrounds. I feel sorry for my mother because I now understand what she was going through.”

The musician said he has lost hope of meeting his father again and he is not bothered. A man from Chipinge once claimed to be Macheso’s father and the artiste rubbished the claims.

“I don’t know whether he is alive or dead. If he was alive he would have come to show his courtesy. I cannot look for him because I do not know where to begin. In fact, there is no way I can be worried about someone who was so careless.

“Whenever I play the song ‘Baba’ the mood of the show changes and I also notice that some people in the crowd get touched. Many people have gone through such situations and it is always painful to recall some of the circumstances.

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