Farayi Machamire 7 May 2017
HARARE – A deathly silence engulfs Takeley Drive in Harare’s medium
density suburb of Sentosa, Mabelreign as Dick “Chinx” Chingaira is helped
out of an Isuzu Bighorn and onto a wheelchair.
Frail and barely able to speak, the man whose liberation war songs turned
farmers into soldiers struggles to fight back tears as he approaches his
new home – a four bedroom house built by well-wishers.
Just 48 hours earlier he was on a hospital bed with his family fearing the
A week before that, social media was awash with messages that he had died,
forcing his family to issue a statement dispelling the rumours.
But on Tuesday last week, all that was seemingly forgotten as the veteran
musician held himself together and offered his trademark salute.
With a wry smile, he raised a clinched fist – perhaps a sign that
somewhere within his deteriorating body, there was still some fight left.
The attention quickly shifted to an approaching black state-of-the-art
Mercedes Benz S600 emblazoned with the face of the First Lady Grace
And out came Grace, spotting a leopard print top, artificial straight
hair, a black dress and low heels.
In the midst of praise singers, she went straight to Chinx to show her
“Gamba harirware (A war veteran does not fall sick),” she said.
“…Hanzi nababa mupore (President Robert Mugabe sends his best wishes),”
she added before proceeding to take her seat.
All the while the 2005 Silver Jubilee Award winner for Most Inspiring Song
of the Liberation War Vanhu Vese Vemu Africa who was flanked by his two
wives – Patricia and Ntombizodwa – nodded in agreement.
Curiously, the visit by the first lady to officiate at the handover
ceremony has sparked debate on the sincerity of the Zanu PF-led government
in addressing the concerns of former freedom fighters.
The Roger Confirm hitmaker just like most war veterans of the liberation
struggle, has been living an undesirable life and at one time was turning
to prophets for health assistance as he could not afford health care.
But just when chief presidential photographer and chairperson of the
Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) Joseph Nyadzayo had completed building Chinx
a decent house, many politicians started to make offerings.
Nyadzayo said the house promised to Chinx in 2014 had taken three years to
complete due to unforeseen hurdles with many people who had pledged
support failing to fulfil their promises.
The president’s chief photographer openly shed tears while narrating the
problems he met before showering Grace’s adversary and former vice
president Joice Mujuru, with praises.
Mujuru, who now leads the National People’s Party (NPP) donated bricks
while Zesa Holdings supplied everything to do with ensuring that there is
electricity in the house, Nyadzayo said.
He also paid tribute to the Zimbabwe Republic Police commissioner general
Augustine Chihuri who provided the manpower.
“…if you move around and see the project you will understand why it has
taken so long…but we are happy it’s over now,” he said.
“Cde Chinx is special, look at his history, he was singing in the
“And he never personally benefited from his music.
“His music was common property but he is not bitter about it…I wonder
who can match him.”
The Mabelreign home is sort of an appeasement to Chinx who had his
Kambuzuma house razed down during the infamous Operation Murambitsvina in
Grace said her heart bleeds for Chinx’s misfortune as well as those who
continue to have their houses demolished after full construction.
“The authorities that have allowed that to happen should be brought to
“How was that land allocated in the first place?” She queried.
“We leave them to develop and then someone comes with a bulldozer and
razes that house down. That’s unfair…it’s merciless.
“There are people who are retrogressive who only think of lining their
pockets, they don’t care about other people.
“They just think of themselves…So, authorities I hope they will listen
we don’t want people to be given land in an unscrupulous manner.”
Earlier Grace had danced for Chinx.
“Anoimba Chinx asi nhasi ndinoda kumutambira (Chinx sings but today I want
to dance for him),” she said, igniting laughter.
“I love you Comrade Chinx, you know that. I love your music.
“Every day, you know what I do? I go into the gym in the morning.
“I support local content, only local content, in the gym, I alternate I go
onto the machine, I go onto the dance floor, ndichitamba kumbosunungura
nyama. Hondo Ye Minda is my best song – number one.
“There is no song of yours I don’t know,” she said before imitating
Chinx’s dance floor moves.
“I told you I will dance for you comrade Chinx. That’s how you dance but
we don’t just look at your dancing but what your music does to us.”
Quoting the Bible, Grace said even though her heart bleeds for Chinx a
reading of Proverbs 16 vs 9, which reads “In their hearts humans plant
their course but the Lord establishes their steps” gives her reason to
“But we should also remember that he was in the liberation struggle some
of the clothes he wore were laced with poison.
“So he is sick like this vakaitwa kafira mberi…but it does not matter
now, do not despair…we don’t want to say all this to a coffin but we
want to say this while you are still alive.”