Pio Macheka

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Pio Macheka
BornPio Farai Macheka
  • Musician
Known forBeing a musician

Pio Farai Macheka was a Zimbabwean musician. He was known for his hit song Karinga Wangu.


Macheka was born on the May 16, 1963, in a family of five consisting of two boys and three girls. His family is originally from Chirumanzi in Masvingo. He was married to Eusebia. [1]


He started Grade One at Dewure Primary School in Masvingo. He left Masvingo for Harare in 1974 and continued with his education at Glen Norah where he sat for his grade seven in 1977. After Grade Seven he went to St Peter’s Kubatana where he did his Form One. He could not proceed to Form Two because of financial constraints. As a result in 1979 he did not go to school because his father was earning very little that he could not continue to support the family. In 1979, he started selling art and craft materials and did music as a way of earning some money. When he had made enough, he continued with his secondary education through correspondence. He eventually sat for his Ordinary Levels in 1984.[2]


In the year 1986, Macheka formed his first musical group called “The Ancestors Beat Band" which consisted of eight members. The band played reggae music. In 1987, he recorded two traditional singles which flopped due to lack of air-play and publicity. In the same year, he joined The “Ndemera” Band under the leadership of Phillippa Ndemera, the name to which he added “Ites” to make it “Ndemera-Ites Band”. He remained with the Ndemera-Ites until 1991. He stopped music for a while after his father died in 1992.

In order to make ends meet, he started to sell some vegetables at a market place in Glen Norah. That very same year he was discovered by a new recording company called RTP (Record and Tape Promotions) who thought he sounded just like Thomas Mapfumo and could be used to popularise Chimurenga beat. Macheka decided to dumb the reggae beat and now concentrated on Chimurenga beat.

He formed a new band which he called the “Black-Ites” who comprised Temba Chiramu on lead guitar, Leonard Mawoyo on bass, Tonderai Nhema on rhythm guitar, Porian Mhlanga and Knowledge Sanangura on mbira. Nacheka was the lead vocalist with assistance from two ladies, Rudo and Felistas. The sound engineer was Langa and Martin Chemhere managed the whole band. With RTP he went on to record an eight-track album. That was his first successful album, which also included the hit song Karinga Wangu.[3]



  • Mabweadziva
  • MaKitchen Party
  • Mutonga

Alleged Attack by Thomas Mapfumo

According to Macheka, one afternoon, somewhere in Waterfalls, he was attacked by a group of thugs who he claimed had been sent by Thomas Mapfumo to assault him and shave off his dreadlocks because he had allegedly copied his style of music. He appeared in newspapers the next day showing his bald head and attack wounds.[4]


He died in October 2008 after committing suicide. [5] He is said to have committed suicide by drinking a pesticide, ‘Roga’ and died on admission at Chitungwiza Central Hospital.[6]