Paul "Dr Love" Matavire
|Cause of death||Hiccups|
|Education||Copota School of the Blind|
|Years active||1982 to 2005|
Paul Matavire was a celebrated Zimbabwean Sungura musician who rose to fame through his songs such as "Christmas Yasvika", "Nhamo Yousavi", "Tanga Wandida" and "MaU". Dr Love, as he was affectionately known by his loyal fans had a unique genre of music which often came enticed with long phrases of rich poetry. Matavire was given the name Dr Love by his fans for his passion for love music which made his fans think that he was an expert in the field. Besides love music which composed the bigger chunk of his songs, Matavire was a great social commentator, motivator, teacher and entertainer.
In 1982, Matavire abandoned his social worker training with Jairos Jiri, an association for the disabled, to join a musical band full time in Bulawayo after he had taught himself to play drums and the guitar. His debut song was in honour of the founder of the organisation, Jairos Jiri titled "Pamberi NavaJiri". It did not take long for Matavire to establish himself as the Clarence Carter of Zimbabwe with his rich poetic lyrics which in languages such as Shona, Ndebele, Venda and English. Despite being blind [he lost his sight aged six after suffering from glaucoma] Matavire’s lyrics describe situations so vividly that most of his fans who had not met him could not believe that he was visually impaired and this was because he gave vivid real life experiences in his songs.
It was the Jairos Jiri group that provided Matavire with the much-needed platform which allowed him to rise to fame in the local music circles. He then left in the early 90s after his return from prison to form his own group, The Hit Machine with which he released a series of masterpieces; Akanaka Akarara (1993), Gakanje (1995) and Fadza Customer (1998). The other two albums, Zimbe Remoto and Gonye Remari were done with the help of Fred Gwala.
Matavire with his entourage of 27 musicians travelled to Europe in 1989 where they were reported to have had successful performances. A proposed 1990 European tour was cancelled due to the court case, but Matavire continued with concerts within Zimbabwe including being a supporting act for international artists.
Matavire had 13 albums to his name. Below are some of them.
- Akanaka Akarara (1993)
- Gakanje (1995)
- Fadza Customer (1998)
- Zimbe Remoto
- Gonye Remari
- Pamberi naVaJiri
Matavire was arrested in 1989 after he was convicted for a rape crime which he had committed in the Chiundura communal lands. He was eventually freed in 1991 and continued his music career with a new album which was titled "Back from College" in which he celebrated his release from prison.
Matavire was also known for leading a simple life. Semi-retired before his death, he balanced music with tending goats and cattle in Rutenga where he moved after 2000 when he was awarded a farm by the Zimbabwe government during the land reform programme. His last release in 2003 was 'Zimbe Remoto.'
Matavire passed away in 2005 at his home in Mwenenzi after a short illness. He was in and out of hospitals for months prior to his death.
The unmistakable Paul Matavire voice is still rocking radio in 21st Century Zimbabwe. A decade after his death, people are still listening to Dr. Love's love lyrics, his motivational poetic music, his intriguing and priceless social messages; and above all, his unique rhythmic entertaining music. His legacy lives on !
- , I've just been shaken - Paul Matavire a few days before his death,Intimacy with Zimbabwean Musicians, published:21 Feb 2012,retrieved:26 Mar 2015"
- R. Saunyama, Copota School of the Blind Grooms Star,The Standard, published:5 Jan 2013,retrieved:27 Mar 2015"
- , Paul Matavire,Jive Zimbabwe retrieved:26 Mar 2015"
- W. Antonio, Paul Matavire brother comes out of shell,NewsDay, published:10 Sept 2014,retrieved:27 Mar 2015"