Leonard Dembo

Leonard Dembo was a talented Zimbabwean musician who made a lot of success with hits such as "chitekete" and "Venenziya". Dembo was born in Chirimhanzu on February 6, 1961 and died in 1996 after a long illness. [1]

Early Music Career

After having failed to secure a job in Bulawayo, Dembo focused more on developing his music career. When he relocated to Zvimba he joined the Spiders together with Cyril Chinyani and his brother Eugene.[1] Dembo did not stay with the group for very long, he eventually moved to Harare where he joined the Outsiders with which he released his first mega hit Venenzia. Dembo also recorded another song titled "mainge majaira matsotsi" with a group known as five notes.

Dembo's Career with the Barura Express

Leonard Dembo was a talented guitarist and vocalist which saw him and his band the Barura Express recording a lot of songs that have stood the test time and still have relevance, decades after their composition. Although Venenzia was described by many as a timeless hit, it was "chitekete" that really established Dembo as a distinct artiste. So popular was the song that it was played at the Miss Universe Finals in Namibia in 1996 and the song was also voted Zimbabwe's Silver Jubilee best song, despite competing with other great compositions such as "mugove" by Leonard Zhakata. Dembo's glittering talent as a musician also comes out in the fact that of all his songs, even those that brought him international recognition, none was written down, they were all done by heart. [2].


Nhamo Moto (1986)

Kuziva Mbuya Huudzwa (1987)

Sharai (Single 1987)

Kukura Kwedu (1988)

Ruva Rashe (1989)

Kukura Hakutani (1990)

Chitekete (1991)

Tinokumbira Kurarama (1992)

Mazano 1993

Nzungu Ndamenya (1994)

Paw Paw (1995)

Shiri Yakangwara (1996)

Babamunini (Single 1996)

Ndirimudiki (Single 1996) [3]

The Death of Dembo

After having succumbed to a severe nose bleed after a show in Makoni in 1995, Leonard Dembo never fully recovered. The musician is said to have continued suffering from acute headaches and at times partial hearing that were all a result of the severe blood loss caused by the nose bleeding.[2] Dembo eventually died on April 9, 1996[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wonder Guchu The man who inspired Tongai Moyo was media shy, but talented - Leonard Dembo, Intimacy With Zim Musicians, Published: October 17, 2001, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Garikai Mazara Remembering the great Leonard Dembo, Nehanda Radio, Published: April 8, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  3. Misa, Dembos legacy lives on, The Zimbabwean, Published: April 7, 2011, Retrieved July 9, 2014