Page contributed by: Tayananiswa.
|Known for||Being a musician.|
|Parent(s)||Vengesai Mesi (father)|
Paradzai Mesi is a Zimbabwean musician. He is the leader of Njerama Boys.
Mesi was born to Vengesai Mesi in Mazowe District in 1972 and grew up in Shamva before his parents relocated to Muzarabani. He is married to Patricia Kapadza.From his marriage with Kapadza they have seven children, while he has four with two other different women.
He assumed the reins at sungura outfit Njerama Boys in 2000 and they released an album “Zviripachena” that became an instant hit. Before this, the group had released a debut effort called “Zaru”, which did not make an impact. The success of the album enabled Mesi to buy his own car, a commuter omnibus as well as a PA system. Njerama Boys broke up in 2007 following a dispute over money they got from a live performance. Eronzi Makina and other band members left the group to form Njerepamwe Boys which did not last.
Mesi left music for cotton farming. He tried to produce cotton in Muzarabani, but it failed to yield results. This forced him to sell his car, kombi and PA system to make ends meet. The “Tirihuruva” hitmaker relocated to Glendale in 2014 where he tried to revive Njerama Boys but his efforts were in vain.
Origins of Njerama Boys
The name Njerama Boys originated from Njerama Mountains, a few kilometres from Mavhuradona Mountains in Muzarabani. When the band was formed in 1997 they played at local shopping centres in Muzarabani until they decided to record their first album. According to Mesi, who became the group leader some years later, they wrote a letter to Gramma Records in 2000 intending to record.
Unfortunately, that is the time when the area was affected by Cyclone Eline. Said Mesi:
"It took us time to get the response from Gramma because all communication systems were affected by the cyclone. The response was overwhelming in Muzarabani and we felt we needed to record an album. We had to walk from our area to Muzarabani Growth Point where we could connect to Harare."
On their way to Muzarabani Growth Point, they met three gentlemen looking for Njerama Boys. Said Mesi:
“We were lucky to meet Bothwell Nyamhondera and we had our first auditions under a baobab tree. He was not convinced then and told us to go back and perfect our songs."
After a month they decided to go back to Harare again and successfully recorded their first album “Zaru” in 2000. It was their following album “Zviripachena” that brought glory to the group. After making considerations with Makina and Zakaria they agreed to have Mesi as the band leader. Following the success of their second album, they recorded a number of albums.
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Hitting hard times
In an interview with a daily tabloid Mesi admitted that he had hit hard times but suspected that a relative of his had bewitched him when he became successful. SaidMesi:
I suspect that in my family, someone, a relative believed that I made a lot of money and expected me to do a lot for the extended family. The person is my relative, the person is still alive and we once stayed together. I won't give you the name but that is what I am suspecting, though I need to find out if it's the real cause but that is what I suspect. When I started this I had no money but I managed to come from Muzarabani and go to Harare to record. Surprisingly I am back to zero and it's now impossible for me to rise again. I just don't understand it and if I get a help I would be grateful
Alcohol and drug abuse
In June 2016, Mesi was urged by promoters and fans to stop abusing alcohol as it was affecting his music career. He however defended himself and said that no amount of alcohol can affect one's talent. He remained adamant and said that he was not going to stop drinking beer. Said Mesi:
"I do not subscribe to the view that drinking too much beer and smoking tobacco or even mbanje jeopardises one’s talent. Talent runs in one’s veins and it cannot be removed by the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream. I know a number of internationally-acclaimed artistes such as Bob Marley who used to smoke marijuana (mbanje) publicly but they have managed to sell their music to all corners of the world. Society should be in a position to draw a line between an artiste and other people. To prove that I know what I am doing, just listen to my compositions. Dai ndaidhakwa mboko ndaizonyora sei nziyo dziya dzose dzine dzidziso sedziya (If I am a drunkard so how come I am very good at composing meaningful lyrics). If I was not popular, nobody was going to even care about me in the society but because I am a well known person, people now expect me to lead a unique life, forgetting that I am also a person. There is no way I am going to stop drinking beer because I am no different in society."
In an interview in July 2017, Mesi admitted to taking a cough syrup called Broncleer or Bronco in street lingo. He said that he took the syrup to relieve stress although it made him abuse his wife. Said Mesi:
Vanhu vari kuti ndirikunwa bronco vari right pahuwrong hwavo nekuti vanonwa doro iroro rakawanda dai nhamo yaiiswa pachena yangu itori nani. Bronco rinombondibatsirawo kuti ndikanganwe nhamo asi inozoitazve kuti ndiite zhowo zhowo nemukadzi pamba.
His wife Patricia Kapadza confirmed that when Mesi drinks Bronco he becomes abusive. She appealed for someone to help him get over his addiction. Said Kapadza:
I would be happy if you helped him to stop abusing drugs nekuti akangonwwa (bronco) chete kugarisana pamba hapana. He becomes very abusive and I can't say some of the things he does after taking the drugs.
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- Takawira Dapi,Paradzai Mesi bares soul,HMetro, published: July 12, 2017, retrieved: July 17, 2017
- [http://www.herald.co.zw/from-rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags/ From rags to riches and back to rags ], Herald, published: July 17, 2017, retrieved: July 17, 2017
- Vasco Chaya, Leave booze, Mesi urged, Daily News, published: June 1, 2016, retrieved: July 17, 2017