HARARE – Peter “Young Igwe” Moyo believes he has finally evolved into the suave sungura artiste that his late father, Tongai, wanted him to be.
When sungura giant Tongai Moyo breathed his last in 2011, he grudgingly handed over the reins of his treasured Utakataka Express band to his eldest son Peter because there was no other option available to him.
“Many will find it hard to accept I was originally not a fan of his music and sungura music in general. I was more into reggae/dancehall. More importantly, I was more into soccer than music.
“I used to play for the Lancashire Steel junior team in Kwekwe alongside the likes of 2014 Castle Lager Premiership Soccer Star of the Year Dennis Dauda.
“My talent on football was unquestionable. That is why even today my best friend is a football person — CAPS United and Zimbabwe goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda,” Young Igwe told the Daily News on Sunday.
The rising sungura artiste added that his late father was very frustrated by the fact that football was his eldest son’s first love.
“On his deathbed, he poured his heart out. He frankly told me that he was not convinced that I would carry forward the rich music legacy he worked so hard to build.
“His exact words were ‘Nguva yangu yakwana, ndakashanda nesimba kuti music yangu isvike payasvika apa saka handidi iparare. Dai ndine mumwe mwana muhombe ndaimusiira zvino ndiwe uripo, basa ndopa iwe. (My time in this world is up. I worked very hard to build my music brand and as such I want someone to carry it forward. Among my children you are the only one old enough to take over my band),” the Utakataka Express frontman remembered.
Six years after the death of his father, Young Igwe is convinced that he now has what it takes to be a great sungura artiste.
“Unlike before my father passed on, I have really fallen in love with sungura music. I have developed a great passion for it and I am very sure that my new and third album, to be launched on Africa Day at Jazz 24/7, will turn out to be a very very good one.
“The album will pleasantly surprise music fans. It will match or surpass the ones produced by my father,” Young Igwe said.
So confident is the rising sungura artiste about the new album that he has titled it Mopao Mokonzi (which means boss in Lingala) — a moniker that his father used at the peak of his music career.
“The quality of the forthcoming album has convinced me to inherit the title Mopao Mokonzi from my late father.
“My producer Jabulani Ndlovu actually told me he last produced an album of that calibre when my father was still alive which justifies my belief that I am now Mopao Mokonzi,” the Mushonga Mukuru hit-maker told the Daily News on Sunday.
The forthcoming album has six tracks — Mweya Mutsvene, Baba Namai, Kurera Haizi Nyore (featuring Andy Muridzo,) Mudiwa Wangu, Musara Pavana and Muridzi Weupenyu.
On Mopao Mokonzi, the Young Igwe collaborated with CAPS United goalkeeper Sibanda and gospel artiste Trymore Bande.
The Kwekwe-born Young Igwe burst onto the music scene in 2013 when he released his debut album Mushonga Mukuru. He followed it up with Mabasa aMwari two years later.
The Utakataka frontman’s last release was a DVD for his second album Mabasa aMwari that was launched in December last year at Dandaro Inn in the Harare Showgrounds.
Young Igwe conceded that taking over from his father when he succumbed to non-Hodgkins cancer in 2011 was not a walk in the park.
“When my father passed on, I quickly inherited the band and it was not an easy task because I was a novice then.
“In the beginning I could only perform well just two of my father’s songs — Muchina Muhombe and Samanyemba. But I have to thank God because he gave me the strength and courage to soldier on and fill in the very big boots left by my legendary father.
“I was put under enormous pressure because some people unfairly expected me to hit the ground running but because God was on my side I persevered.
“I am happy now because the pressure has eased considerably because music fans are now generally happy with my performances and compositions. I guess the pressure helped me become the real Mopao Mokonzi,” said Young Igwe.