By Steve Ephraem
IT is 24 years since the departure of System Tazvida, the originator of Smoko music genre. Smoko is a sub genre of sungura genre in Zimbabwe. Tazvida (born Fanuel Nyasha Mazhetese) on 2 May 1968 in Zaka, Masvingo, breathed his last on 4 February 1999 after a long time of illness.
System Tazvida earned himself nicknames such as ‘Rombe’ and ‘Wezhira’ after releasing singles and albums that made him a household name in the sungura genre.
On February 06, 2023, a collaboration of artistes launched a musical project which they christened Smoko Alliance. The project released a single song titled Remembering System Tazvida.
In an interview with Post On Sunday, promoter Peter “Dr Nzvedas” Mathonsi who is marketing the project indicated that the initiative is a beginning of greater things lined up for Smoko Music lovers.
“Smoko Alliance is a collaboration of anyone who would like to see Smoko Music continue. I have joined hands with Leeroy Kamusena, Jealous Chareka, King Tazvida and Admire Ngoshi to release this new single.
“The project is a preparatory stage for the big event to happen next year (2024) when we will commemorate 25 years after System Tazvida passed on. We wanted people to see that we are already in the preparations.
“Our aim is to release a full album next year on the day of commemoration. So invite Isaac Tazvida, Joy Commander, Isaac Musuki and other artistes who sing Smoko music to join the Alliance so that we come with a powerful project,” said Mathonsi.
Commenting on the song, Dr Nzvedas said that it is a reflection of Tazvida’s music taste.
“The track begins with a reggae beat then changes to Smoko. Personally, System loved reggae music and even had dreadlock to imitate reggae icons such as Bob Marley. In his band, he would play Smoko that is why we fused the two beats in the songs.
“Those who want more information on Smoko Alliance can contact me via my social media platforms such as Dr Nzvedas on Facebook,” added Mathonsi.
In his musical career, System Tazvida released songs such as ‘Mabhawuwa’ while still with Khiama Boys in 1985. He later left the band with Cephas Karushanga to form a short-lived ensemble called Mabhauwa Express. After his stint with Mabhawuwa Express, Wezhira joined Ephraim (Zhuwawo) Joe’s Sungura Boys where he recorded hits like ‘Iwawo wangu’ and ‘Dhiya Ungwarire.’
In 1993, Tazvida formed his own group Chazezesa Challengers and produced his first solo single ‘Vaforomani’ that was followed by various other singles as well as six studio albums namely, Rudo, tsika nemagariro, Mutunhu une mago, Wadenha mago, Watosvorwa, Huni nyoro mumoto and Rimi remoto.
Commemorating Tazvida 20 years after his death, fire brand South Africa-based musician, Peter Mathonsi who is the chairman of Smoko Task Force said Tazvida will remain a brand forever.
“Tazvida will always be remembered as a labour commentator taking into consideration songs like Vaforomani and Mushandi ndimambo. He sang about practical issues,” said Mathonsi.
System is survived by his wife, Barbra Mabuyaye Tazvida affectionately known as Nyababs M Tazv on social media platform.