Cde Chinx Chingaira
|Born||Dick Chingaira Makoni|
September 27, 1955
|Died||June 16, 2017(aged 61)|
|Years active||1970s -2017|
|Known for||Revolutionary Music|
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Chingaira and Ntombizodwa Chingaira|
Dick Chingaira Makoni popularly known in the music circles as Cde Chinx was a revolutionary musician and song-writer. He is considered to be one of the greatest musicians to come out of Zimbabwe. He is known for his revolutionary music which include songs such as "Africa", "Hondo Yeminda" and "Mabhunu".
Chinx is a short name for Chingaira. He was born in Rusape on September 27, 1955. He was married to Catherine Mazuru who died in 1996. He was married to two wives; Patricia Makoni and Ntombizodwa Chingaira who have 10 children between them.
Cde Chix met Patricia Makoni in 1976 in Mozambique.
In August 2019, his son Sagelaw Chingaira was killed in a hit and run accident aged 26. The unnamed driver did not stop at the scene of the accident in Greencroft, Harare but eventually handed herself to the police a day later. Sagelaw was poised to take over his late father’s band. He was employed by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
Chingaira attended Chigora Primary School in the Makoni District of Rusape.
Music Career Before Independence
His interest in music began when his primary school headmaster, Martin Dhlamini, encouraged him to sing and to join the school choir. Upon completing his secondary school, Chingaira got a place to study medicine overseas but he failed to acquire travel documents and the whole plan failed to materialise. Then in 1974 he worked at an engineering plant in Msasa, in Harare.
Music During the War
At the end of 1975, Chinx joined the Second Chimurenga war in Mozambique. As much as he was a fighter his love for music made him a full-time organiser of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front(ZANU-PF) People’s Choir.
The choir that was formed was called Takawira in honour of the late nationalist Leopold Takawira. Takawira Choir became just but one of many other choirs which boosted freedom fighters’ morale during the war. Chinx had joined the guerrillas with the sole aim of liberating Zimbabwe but found himself being the leader of the Takawira choir which in no time changed its name to the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) Choir, which acted as a morale booster for the fighting cadres when Comrade Mhere Yaraira who led the group was transferred.
Music Career After Independence
Chinx's musical skills were later realised at independence in 1980 when he returned to Zimbabwe. He soon teamed up with Bennie Miller and Keith Farquharson to record his early chimurenga hits Ngorimba, Zvikomborero and Nerudo. The band soon developed to include Don Gumbo of Ilanga and more hits were recorded between 1982 and 1987. Chinx pursued a multitude of career options. He was one of the early members of Ilanga with greats such as Don Gumbo, Busi Ncube and the late Andy Brown. Shortly after leaving Ilanga he pursued a solo career. He also acted in films, Flame (1996 film), as well as writing the score for the 1989 South African documentary Limpopo Line.
After a short stint with Ilanga he moved on to team up with Mazana Movement Band and then later with Mazana Black Spirits. His hit song entitled Vanhu Vose VemuAfrica translated People of Africa captures the essence of humanity and unity in the face of injustice and unfairness. His most outstanding hit, Roger Confirm, stayed on the then Radio 3’s Hitpick charts for 25 weeks in 1989 and early 1990. Every year since the 1980s during the Heroes Day, Independence Day celebrations and Africa Day holidays, all radio stations in Zimbabwe have continued to play Chinx’s liberation songs. In 2000 when the land reform started. Chinx, with the late former band mate Andy Brown backed by the Police Band when the land reform started, composed and recorded songs for the government becoming part of the Third Chimurenga.
Early in 2017, he released an album featuring Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Civic Education despite his ill-health.
His song, "Vanhu Vese VemuAfrica" was voted the Silver Jubilee Award for the Most Inspiring Song of the Liberation War during the 2005 National Arts Merit Awards. In the early 90s he also got a double from MNET Africa for the movie Flame in which he played a major role and had his song, Maruza Vapambe Pfumi which then won the best soundtrack.
In April 2016, news of his death circulated again after the musician was admitted at West End Hospital in Harare.
Cde Chinx died on June 16, 2017 at West End Hospital where he was reportedly admitted for leukemia. Before he was admitted, Cde Chinx had tried to seek help from prophets, apostolic faith churches and also traditional healers but to no avail.
Hero Status and Burial
Cde Chinx was declared a liberation war hero by the Zanu-PF Politburo and not a National Hero. This meant that he would not be buried at the National Heroes Acre. The then Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo said:
Cde Dickson Chingaira has been declared a liberation war hero. He has earned this because of his works during the war and he remained consistent after the war. The nation is thankful to his contribution.
However, Chingaira's family was unhappy about the lesser honour and refused to accept the liberation war hero status. They asked Zanu-PF to reconsider their decision and grant Chingaira National Hero Status instead. The plea was unsuccessful in the end.
Even though his first name was frequently referred to as "Dickson", Chinx said he hated this as this wasn't his real name. His first name, he said, was simply "Dick". 
Chinx would have been a medical doctor after having been offered to study medicine overseas but he failed to acquire travelling documents.
- Nyemudzai Kakore, Family speaks on Chinx the father, The Herald, Published: June 20, 2017, Retrieved: June 16, 2021
- Cde Chinx’s son dies, The Herald, Published: August 5, 2019, Retrieved: June 16, 2021
- Driver who 'killed' Cde Chinx's son hands self to police, Bulawayo24, Published: August 7, 2019, Retrieved: June 16, 2021
- Wonder Guchu, Jinxed Chinxed - the guerrilla, Intimacy With Zim Musicians, Published March 29, 2012, Retrieved: July 2, 2014
- Fred Zindi, The magic behind Ilanga The Herald, Published: February 27, 2012, Retrieved: July 2, 2012
- Wonder Guchu, Zanla Choir legacy lingers Southern Times, Published: June 20, 2007, Retrieved July 02, 2014
- Cde Chinx critically ill, Chronicle, published: April 27, 2017, retrieved: June 17, 2017
- Cde Chinx Has Died Story HOAX, ZimEye, Published: 11 Aug 2015, Retrieved: 12 Aug 2015
- Masceline Bondamakara LIVING LEGENDS SSN2 EP2 : COMRADE CHINX, Youtube, Published:14 Feb 2017 , Retrieved: 19 June 2017