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Mono Mukundu - My Hero

Clive Mono Mukundu is a legendary Producer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Author, Father and Husband. Walking into his studio was like going back in time before the digital era before social media, the glitz, glamour & so much more.

I felt like I was back into an era where music was “real" music, where proper structures where in place, record labels excited and the industry was not as chaotic as it is now.

So how did it all start?

The very first picture that caught my eye was the Surungano Chanters photograph, his very first band. He had a bit of an Afro, looked young and the three young men held very unique looking guitars. You can just tell that there was love and passion there for music.

Then somewhere near it, was a laminated poster of Mr Madzikatire x Mr Mukadota show with a couple vibrant and beautiful young women on it. Got me wishing if only I could take back the hands of time into that moment. I would definitely love to kick it old school. See the shows, enjoy the original sound filled with Zimbabwean elements and see the vibrant dancers and backup singers too. I would give up anything to hear that "Hunyani" song live.

Right as I was thinking about this he sat down, we introduced ourselves and he went on right ahead to talk about that particular poster and how it was difficult for him to get it as he had been working on a documentary then. A beautiful era for Zimbabwean music with no or little documents to celebrate the history. Mono would actually mention this later in the interview and he also placed emphasis on how it was very important too.

I mean how many times is our African stories being told in third person by other people with distortions and white lies?

Can we really blame them when all our rich "musical " history is nothing but oral history?

Back to the pictures as we were setting up to start, I noticed a picture of him and the late Dr Mtukudzi performing. Classic masterpiece photograph says a lot a complete contrast of music back then and now. Mono Mukundu was behind Tuku’s hit Tozeza Baba which went on to become Tuku’s famous song of all time and won so many accolades.

Then Cynthia Mare's single cover of the popular "Dai Zvaibvira song" memories of my mother flashed into my memory (May her soul rest in peace) ironically it having been Mother's Day and all I started to think to myself that I could probably still listen to that song like it had been released yesterday. Music that's lasts for generations!

Gazing just behind me I noticed a calendar by Mbeu and the Mhodzi tribe it later made sense to me later on during the interview why that particular artist and band having to share the gallery in this studio .

Closing off my tour, there is so much I left out, I took a sneak peak of the recording booth there were so many instruments and it then it hit me. He probably invested a lot in this studio.

Fast forward after the interview was done, got a chance to hear him play as he gushed us with knowledge to lasts a generation. All I could feel in that moment was to be grateful for the opportunity to have met and interviewed him. The man is really humble, relevant and a living icon. Not to forget how much wealth of knowledge he t music, the industry and also what's trending.

I would smile and laugh it off with quote from him where he said, "Music is not about talent its 20% talent an 80% business"

That hit me hard! Food for thought peeps.



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