Zimbabwean Celebrities and their real names


VARIOUS musicians and artistes have emerged from different genres, but it is amazing that some carry on with their careers with fans not knowing their real names.

In fact some of the country’s best musicians died with many people not knowing their real names.Some artistes give themselves nicknames or professional names, while others are given by fans.


For example, the late legend John Chibadura is one musician who earned himself two nicknames during his career.Many referred to him as John Chibadura, but the musician was born John Nyamukokoko.

Although a nickname, ‘Chibadura’ the name became common leading to many believing that it was his surname.According to Pindula, an online website, John earned the nickname ‘Chibadura’ because of his ability and prowess in playing the guitar.

‘Chibadura’ according to the website means, ‘the man who can do best on the guitar’.Superstar Leonard Dembo who was affectionately known as ‘Musoro weNyoka’ was born, Kwangwari Gwaindepi.He was born on February 6 1959 and died at the age of 37 on April 9 1996.

It is the name Dembo that remained popular and is still popular even today.The late System Tazvida, a vibrant and talented musician is also on the list of artistes that died with many people not knowing their real names.
He was born Fanuel Nyasha Tazvida and was nicknamed ‘System’.

According to Fidelis Manyange who was a close associate to Tazvida, the nickname ‘System’ came from Tazvida’s primary schoolteacher.

“His primary schoolteacher nicknamed him ‘System’ because he (Tazvida) had a system of singing to other pupils whenever the teacher went out of the classroom,” said Manyange.

Bhundu Boys’ Biggie Tembo who was the lead vocalist of the group was born Biggie Mhosva Marasha and later baptised Rodwell.He committed suicide on July 30 1995.

For the township jazz artist ‘Tanga wekwa Sando’, his real name is Ernest Tanga Kambadzo Sando.Bulawayo-based musician popularly known as ‘Chase Skuza’ was born Nicholas Moyo, while ‘Lovemore Majaivana’s real name is Lovemore Tshuma.

Tshuma is currently in the USA.John Muyambo is better known by his nickname ‘Chibhodhoro’ which was his character name in the local drama The Mukadota Family.Actors such as the late ‘Mukadota’ and ‘Katarina’ rose to fame with their pseudo names which became more popular than their real names.

Mukadota, real name Safirio Madzikatire, rose to fame in the early 1980s when he played the role ‘Mukadota’ on The Mukadota Family drama.For the late Elizabeth Taderera affectionately known as ‘Katarina’, the name was given to her by ‘Mukadota’ during their stage performance.

Many people are not familiar with the name Philip Gadzikwa Mushangwe, but this is the real name of that hilarious man who was popular on Zimbabwe television in the 1990s as a comedy character under the name ‘Paraffin’.

Lazarus Boora, is also another comedian who reigned in drama series Gringo Ndiani? and the movie Gringo the Troublemaker.To date, people call him ‘Gringo’.

Another comedian who is better known by his professional name is ‘Mutirowafanza’ who was born Simon Shumba.Recently a local publication reported that Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo was born Michael Munhumumwe and only started using his current name at the age of nine.

For Sungura giant Alick Macheso it is a different story in that the musician had to adopt his mother’s family name after his grandparents could not allow their daughter to marry Macheso’s father.Macheso was born to Hudson and Emilia Chisale resulting in the musician being born Alick Chisale.

Although some of the above artistes passed on, it is their contribution in the arts industry that remains in the minds of many.There are many other artistes whose real names are unknown to the public, but it is crucial for them to be known for the benefit of future generations.

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