Freedom Manatsa
Freedom Manatsa.jpg
BornFreedom Manatsa
(1982-03-15)March 15, 1982
Harare
NationalityZimbabwean
EducationUniversity of South Africa (UNISA)
OccupationMusician and Lawyer
Spouse(s)Rashiwe Chakasikwa
ChildrenMatipa Skye Manatsa
Parents
  • Zex Manatsa (father)
  • Stella Manatsa (nee Katehwe) (mother)
RelativesStanely Manatsa (Uncle), Selmor Mtukudzi, Sharon Manatsa
FamilyGreen, Tendai Manatsa, Aaron, Shingirai and Taku Zex Jr

Freedom Manatsa is a Zimbabwean drummer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and lawyer. He is best known as the drummer/backing vocalist for Comrade Fatso & Chabvondoka, Chiwoniso Maraire, Sandra Ndebele, Pastor G, Tendai Manatsa, Selmor Mtukudzi and Prudence Katomeni.

Background

Freedom Manatsa was born on 15 March 1982 in Harare. He was born in a musical family and son to the legendary Zex Manatsa and Stella Manatsa (nee Katehwe). Freedom is married to Rashiwe Chakasikwa and they have one child called Matipa Skye Manatsa. Freedom grew up in a family of 6 boys and started playing bass guitar when he was 5 years old when his Uncle Stanely Manatsa showed him how to play simple notes and make melodic harmonies on bass. At 12 Freedom, started playing traditional drums (Ngoma) at school and in church. He also joined the church band and started playing bass while in school at the age of 15. At 16 he started playing at Church weddings & church conferences as these were the places his father would allow him to play at as long as he was still in school. As soon as he finished A'level his father officially employed him in the church band as the drummer but this exposed him to the outside world and he only lasted for about 2 years and he was off to play secular music with Progress Chipfumo being his 1st employer.

Education

Freedom Manatsa did his law degree with University of South Africa (UNISA).

Career

After completing his law degree with University of South Africa (UNISA), Freedom decided to launch his solo career as a lead singer initially inspired by his father's music and his love for traditional afro jazz music from the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela, Ringo, Andy Brown, Chiwoniso Maraire, Afrika Revenge etc, releasing a series of singles, "Country Boy"(2016), "Kajuice" (2018), "Mwari Anotichengeta" ft Prudence Katomeni (2019) & then his debut 8 track Album in 2020.

He describes his musical genre as a fusion of contemporary afro-jazz and afro-pop. His best known track is KaJuice and the most popular track he has ever played drums on is Nora by Elliot Manyika and Nguva Yangu by Selmor Mtukudzi. Freedom is known for his distinctive afro-beats with a snare drum that has a sharp reverb drum sound on many of his recordings. This has earned him the Nickname "Free-Mono" among his fans and big group of young drummers that follow and are inspired by his playing.

He recieved a lot of training playing all night in various cities and towns around Zimbabwe. This experience combined with the training from home built a reputation so fast that artists lined up to try and secure him as their main drummer. He then pursued a music career, working with artists such as: Sandra Ndebele, Plaxedes Wenyika, Mercy Mutsvene, Joyce Simeti, Extra Large, Tambaoga, Ngoni Kambarami, Alexio Kawara, Nesto, Flash Gordon & Sebede, Elliot Manyika, Pastor G, Afrika Revenge, David Mabvuramiti, King Isaac, TK Holland, Liethens Musoni, Edward Chinyunyu, Pastor Haisa, Selmor Mtukudzi, Tendai Manatsa, Josh Meki, Edith WeUtonga, Dino Mudondo, Patience Musa, Reverb, Tanga Wekwa Sando, Sam Dondo, Free to Worship, Jane Doka, Ntokozo Mbambo, Hope Masike, Prudence Katomeni, Outspoken, Comrade Fatso & Chabvondoka, Chiwoniso Maraire, Andy Brown, Shingisai Suluma, Maureen Lilanda (Zambia), Zex Manatsa, Jazz Invitation, Maureen Lilanda (Zambia), Steve Dyer(S.A).

At the peak of his career as a drummer whilst working with other artists, Freedom boasts that he has shared the stage with some of the world's best selling artists, which include the likes of "Oliver Mtukudzi", Lira, Hugh Masekela, Tsepo Tsola, Mokoomba, Alick Macheso, Winky D, Sulumani Chimbetu, Israel Houghton, Keke, Jah Prayzah, Tongai Moyo, Dudu Manhenga, and Missy Elliot(Serbia -Exit Festival).

Freedom said, "I never learnt to read and write academic musical notation, but instead I have always played by ear, and use a system my brothers Aaron & Tendai taught me. That is, if I can hum it, and pronounce it with my lips then I can play it."

The Green Arrows Band, Oliver Mtukudzi, Ringo, Afrika Revenge, Tanga wekwaSando, were his greatest influence early when he was learning how to play drums and their drummers Sam Mataure, Epaphrus "Dhudhucha" Kuzora, Clive Bobby Mutyasira, & Calton Muparutsa, all played a big role in influencing his style of playing and level of professionalism. His father's life history taught him that music is a serious business and can take one as far as they want to go as long as they take it seriously and do it professionally.

International Tours

In his music career of over 20 years as a professional drummer/vocalist, & producer, Freedom has toured the world with various artists showcasing Zimbabwean music and art, including countries such as, Mozambique (2003), China (2004), Japan (2005), South Africa (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015), USA (2009), Serbia (2010), Re'union Island (2012), Zanzibar (2013), Senegal (2011), Zambia(2007), Tanzania(2008), Swaziland (2009), Lesotho(2011), Botswana(2015), Mauritius(2016).

Social Responsibility

Freedom found time during the lockdown in the wake of the Coronavirus (Coronavirus in Zimbabwe) pandemic where he would go through his father's music playing his guitar and sampling some great songs from the old man to entertain his Facebook followers and he jogged some good memories. This created a sense of belonging and participation. It was an antidote to the growing sense of alienation and isolation in society in general - even more so now we are being asked to actively practice social distancing and isolation.[1]

Discography

Freedom's discography includes an 8 track album recorded at Manatsa Music Studios with the following tracks, "Damuninga", "Vhukani" ft Zex Manatsa, "KaJuice", "Wadzanayi", "Vahosi", "Mwari Anotichengeta" ft Prudence Katomeni, "Country Boy" & "Nhai Mwana Iwe".

Picture Gallery

Videos

References

  1. Brilliant Pongo, [1], Report Focus News, Published: 15 April, 2020, Accessed: 15 May, 2020