Joseph Garakara

Joseph Garakara is a Zimbabwean Sungura musician known for his song Idya Banana which featured the dance group Mambokadzi in the video. Garakara is the leader of the band Mbama Express.


His elder brother Lovemore used to play Mbira.[1] Joseph Garakara's father Mathias was also a mbira and guitar player and his mother Lucia led the church choir. Garakara’s siblings and nephew made a mbira group called Mhuri YekwaGarakara that did shows around Mhondoro and surrounding areas.[2]


Garakara is a qualified primary school teacher. He also holds a Media Studies degree from the Zimbabwe Open University.[3][1] When Garakara completed his O-Level, he began working as an untrained teacher and left the family mbira group Mhuri YekwaGarakara. He later went to a teachers’ college and continued with his career in the education sector. After some years he thought of going back to music and enrolled at the Zimbabwe College of Music and got a certificate.[2]


Garakara joined a group called Detembera that saw him getting connected to other musicians until he recorded his demo tape that was rejected at studios on several occasions. It was finally accepted at Gramma Records.[2]

When Garakara released the album Tapinda Tapinda which contained the song Idya Banana he was a primary school teacher at Makwavarara Primary School in Mhondoro.[2] Garakara began his career on a high note, but his music fizzled out, despite churning album after album.[3] In 2020, Garakara said he had finished working on his seventh album titled Mbama Yemambunge which was due for release.[4]

In 2017, Garakara was a deputy headmaster at Domboramwari Primary School in Epworth.[2]


Garakara won three Zimbabwe Music Awards in 2006 for the song Idya Banana.[3] He was voted Best Upcoming Artiste and Best Male Musician (Sungura) while the song became Best Song of the Year.[2]



  • Tapinda Tapinda (2006)
  • Kechi One Nezai (2007)
  • Chamboko Chewaya (2008)
  • Forever Mine (2010)
  • Kuti Zvityise (2012)
  • Pfuti (2015)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jairos Saunyama, Garakara returns with new album, NewsDay, Published: September 24, 2012, Retrieved: March 21, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Godwin Muzari, When ‘Idya Banana’ shook showbiz scene, The Herald, Published: February 10, 2017, Retrieved: March 21, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jairos Saunyama,Garakara’s sorrowful musical journey, The Standard, Published: January 24, 2016, Retrieved: March 21, 2021
  4. Praise Masvosva,Garakara breaks silence, H-Metro, Published: January 14, 2020, Retrieved: March 21, 2021