FAST rising musician Ashton Tapiwa Nyahora, Mbeu, has abandoned his matrimonial home to live with a “small house”, The Sunday Mail Leisure has established.
It appears the vocalist and guitarist, whose music is largely influenced by music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, has been heavily gripped by the very same disease that has threatened careers of extremely talented artistes like Rockford “Roki” Josphats and of late Andy Muridzo.
It is alleged that his private, or rather bedroom life, is in the fast lane.
Information obtained by this publication indicates that Mbeu dumped his family, which includes his heavily pregnant wife, young sister and brother at his yet to be completed family home in Norton late last year.
Reports are that the young man is now staying in a rented apartment in Warren Park with a lady that he hooked up with in one of the popular Harare CBD imbibing joints that he has a regular weekly slot.
Fame, it seems, has exposed him to various blossoms of the world, in the process making him reconsider his first love whom he married late last year.
And his decision to open another “nest”, it is said, has been causing massive strain on the musician’s pocket and subsequently his family.
Sources say because of these developments, the musician has become more of a visitor in Norton.
As a result, his wife Praise Knoway Chipungu now spends more time at her mother’s place who also stays in the same neighbourhood. That is where The Sunday Mail Leisure crew found her after failing to locate her at her home last week.
Mbeu’s manager, Eugine Museredza, has also been fingered as the major contributor to the talented entertainer’s “crisis”.
This publication got hold of Mbeu’s manager through telephone and requested a face-to-face interview with him and his artiste over these issues but he declined, instead opting for WhatsApp. However, they were both cold in their responses and gave minimal details.
“That’s not true. It’s my home, that’s where I stay. I don’t visit where I stay. I am staying with my family,” said Mbeu after we asked about his new Warren Park home and family.
His wife, Praise, who has a clear distaste for Museredza, sings a different tune. She hesitantly confirmed the allegations.
“People are talking and they have been telling me that he moved in with another woman but like I said I am still to come up with proper evidence,” said a visibly troubled Praise.
“He moved to Warren Park in December last year ostensibly to work on his new album that is set to be released. I once travelled to that place and I found the room occupied with guys and with mats but that they stay with a female or not I would not know. Maybe he took me to a wrong place, you wouldn’t know but I spent a whole night at the place and slept on a rug.”
Mbeu’s wife, a holder of a diploma from the Zimbabwe College of Music, went on to divulge more details.
“He usually visits on Sundays but that has also since become subject to his ‘work’ schedule. His support for me, his school-going sister and brother that he left in my custody, has since declined. Perhaps it is because of the room that he is now renting in Warren Park. I don’t know how much he pays for it though.”
But despite all the drama, Praise is still hopeful that her husband will come out strong and get rid of all the negative forces that are threatening to derail his life and promising career. She feels her husband needs time to grow and discover himself. This, she nonetheless opine, will only be possible if he hangs around people that give him sound advice.
And according to her, Museredza, whom she says she knew before Mbeu, is not one of the people that will take his husband to the “Promised Land”.
“I’m told his manager is the one responsible for all this and is the one that is encouraging him to have affairs. I failed to click with Eugine (Museredza) who was once my teacher at school because I’m a no nonsense person. My bone of contention with him stems from the fact that he is overstepping his boundary by trying to manage both my husband as an artiste and our personal life,” she said.
“He is giving Ashton (Mbeu) wrong advice all the time and I have always been correcting my husband until recently when he discovered it and that is why he is now trying to get rid of me. He (Museredza) needs to know Mbeu is the one he manages and Ashton is mine to manage. Actually, I’m told he is the one who looked for a new place for Ashton.”
Museredza, however, defended himself. “I have nothing to do with his private life,” he said.
But Praise dug in: “Ashton has had issues with ladies before but I don’t blame him, the ladies throw themselves at him, he is a human being and not God, miyedzo inombo muwandirawo (temptations sometimes get too much for him). I can never change him, it has to be a personal decision.”
Mbeu’s music growth can best be described as phenomenal having grown into a household name in a few months.
Getting his first shot on the big stage at Sam Mtukudzi’s commemoration gig last year in March, the artiste struck the right chords and won the hearts of many music lovers with his mesmeric performances.
While sharing the stage with some of the biggest acts in the county who include Oliver Mtukudzi and Jah Prayzah might have greatly contributed to his visibility, it cannot be disputed that he is hardworking and talented.
Doing an average of four shows per week at venues that include Jazz 24/7, Pakare Paye, City Sports Bar, Time & Jazz and most recently Legends Sports Bar in Bulawayo among others, fortune seems not so far from the young man.
But all the gains made thus far could come to naught if he stays on the stray path.
It is hoped that such disturbing developments will not derail his promising career as well as plans to release “The Mhodzi Diaries”, an album which he is finalising and is set to launch both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.