Lovemore Majaivana

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Lovemore Majaivana
Picture of Lovemore Majaivana
Lovemore Majaivana
BornLovemore Tshuma
(1952-12-14)December 14, 1952
Mambo, Gweru, Zimbabwe
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
Years active1977 - 2000

Lovemore Majaivana (born Lovemore Tshuma) is one of the most popular Zimbabwean Musicians to come from Bulawayo. Majaivana became one of the most popular musicians in post-independence Zimbabwe, He is held in the same regard as the legends Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi. Majaivana has since quit music, and moved to work in other jobs in USA. The word Majaivana means Great Dancer.


Lovemore Majaivana was born Lovemore Tshuma on 14 December 1952 in Mambo Township in Gweru. He earned his stage name “Majaivana” because of his nimble footedness. A self-confessed school drop-out in pre-independent Zimbabwe, Majaivana chose music as a career. Music helped him take care of his siblings following the death of his father in a car accident in 1974. Majee is the eldest child in a family of seven. His family moved from Gweru to Bulawayo when the singer was aged four in the 1950s. His father, Reverend Tshuma, was Malawian born and a priest of a local church in Bulawayo while the mother, MaNyathi, used to sing in the church choir. Majee credits his mother for most of his songs.

Music career

Majaivana started off singing at an early age, in 1968, when he would sing in the church choir in which his father was a minister. As a kid he teamed up with his friend, Mtshapi, a neighbor and the two built their own first set of drums using plastics and empty cardboard barrels cut in half. With the makeshift drums, the boys performed at local Beer Gardens, Manwele and New Bhawa (New Beerhall) in Bulawayo. Adoring patrons paid a meagre token fee in appreciation.

At 15, he became a drummer in a local Bulawayo band. He would make a short stay at the band as he soon relocated to Harare resulting in him giving up drumming. His parents were against singing but Majaivana would sneak out in the evenings to rehearse with groups such as The High Chords and the Echoes, performing as their lead singer. He horned his drum playing skills when he joined a local band, the Hi-Chords. The band played at weddings (Macdonald Hall) the local Boys Clubs. Soon they were playing at bigger venues like the famous Valley Hotel, the Great Northern, Marisha Cocktail Bar and the likes.

His parents only discovered his talent when he won the best vocalist slot at the Trade Fair in 1977.[1] With his parents' approval, he became a regular at places such as Honde Valley Hotel and Marisha Nightclub and he became popular in the Bulawayo vicinity. This however, made him move from the band's shadow to become a competent solo artist. Majaivana then began to parade nightclubs singing Tom Jones and Elvis Presley songs.[2] After a while, Majaivana then went back to Bulawayo and performed with the Marisha band. He then packed his bags again after four years and went back to the capital where he joined the Jobs Combination, a resident band at Jobs Night Club owned by late businessman, Job Kadengu. It was with the Jobs Combination that Majaivana’s signature mbanqanga beat was born.

Together with the band, Majaivana instantly became popular with songs such as Angilamali, Isizungu and Isitmela which were social commentary songs. Some misunderstandings within the band saw Majee leaving the group in 1984. He briefly worked as a milk salesman before retracing his steps back to Bulawayo in 1985 where he joined the Zulu Band, a group based in Victoria Falls that also featured two of his brothers. Majaivana and his band went on to release their first album which had original sounds that had no western influence. The album had the hit song 'Salanini Zinini' that made the band popular.[3] His musical career was marked by struggles – the struggle to win the approval and endorsement of his own people, to have his music gain national appeal and even getting the financial rewards it deserved. Majaivana, quit music in 2001 when he went to America to pursue business interests.

In a documentary released by YouTube channel Zazise Wide in June 2020, Lovemore Majaivana revealed why he decided to quit music. He said that he felt unappreciated and that music sales and the success of an artist in Zimbabwe followed “tribal lines”. He said:

"My life has always been a sad one, I’ve been dealt blows below the belt,” Majaivana says in the undated interview. “First of all, it was the language that I sang in, it didn’t really bring me the fortune that one expects if you look at these other people that sing in the widely known languages. They get a better share of the profits. It’s partly why I left music. Whenever I went to get my cheque and I saw the other cheques of people that sang in a different language, they had better cheques than mine. Okay, you might say my music was not better than theirs, but fact is when we travelled to a lot of places like England, Sweden, Denmark and Canada we had full houses, but back home it was on tribal lines. This thing about tribes and all started years ago. Do I see it getting to a better situation? Well, I don’t know. I leave it in God’s hands."

In the interview, Majaivana said that he was a preacher, following in the footsteps of his Malawi-born father who was a preacher in Gweru before his death in a car accident in 1974.[4]

Plea To Come Back on Stage

His fans which were left starved after his departure started writing a petition on Facebook for him to come back and perform in December 2011. The petition which his fans began signing in May of the same year was signed by over 2500 fans.[5] Majaivana, however never responded to the petition.


Majaivana was honoured in 2012 at the innaugural Mporiro Arts Festival held in Canterbury, United Kingdom were he was granted a Life Time Achievement Award in the music industry in absentia.[6] In 2013 he was also nominated for the National arts Merit Awards NAMA in the People's Choice Award category [7] but failed to win the award.



  1. Isitimela
  2. Salanini Zinini
  3. Jazi Manikiniki
  4. The Best of Lovemore Majaivana
  5. Isono Sami
  6. Ezilodumo Zakamajee
  7. Lovemore Majaivana

Further Reading



  1. , Fred Zindi, Has Lovemore Majaivana quit music forever?, 'Herald', Published: , Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  2. DN, Majaivana honoured in UK, 'DailyNews', Published: 4 Oct 2012, Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  3. Steve Huey, Biography, 'All Music', Published: ND, Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  4. Majaivana documentary sheds new light into decision to end music career, ZimLive, Published: June 16, 2020, Retrieved: May 18
  5. Musa Dube, snubs fans’ petition, 'The Standard', Published: 26 Jan 2014, Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  6. Fred Zindi, Majaivana honoured at last, Pubished: 22 Oct 2012, Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  7. , Faith Silandulo Dube, Vote Lovemore Majaivana for the 2013 NAMA People's Choice Award, Published: 8 Feb 2014, Retrieved: 10 Apr 2014
  8. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019

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