Simon "Chopper" Chimbetu was a Zimbabwean Dendera Music artist,vocalist,guitarist and performer. He is considered as the father of the Dendera Music genre.[1] He performed as co-lead of the band The Marxist Brothers which he formed together with his brother Naison Chimbetu. He later formed the musical group The Orchestra Dendera Kings and launched a successful solo career. He is the father of Dendera Music artist Sulumani Chimbetu[1].


Simon was born on 23 September 1955 [2] His father, Benson Chimbetu was a bricklayer who moved around taking on construction jobs on houses around the country.[3]He attended Msengezi High School and was part of a group of children abducted during the liberation struggle.[4]He was asked to return home because he was too young. He became part of the liberation struggle when he joined local guerrilla forces and went as far as Tanzania for training.[2] When he returned home to Chegutu,where his father worked on a farm he was sent to Harare, then called Salisbury, to escape the Rhodesian army.[4] His brother Naison later followed him and they stayed together in Dzivarasekwa.

Musical Career

Simon launched his career in the late 1970s with his brother Naison.[2] the two of them sang in bars until they were discovered by Chris Mutema who sent them to established artist Zexie Manatsa.[4] Failing to get assistance at this stop the two brothers sought assistance from Chris Mutema yet again. This time they were sent to Mushandirapamwe Hotel, located in Highfield. Here they met Joseph Ngoyi and the OK Express,the resident band there.[4] As the Chimbetu duo did not have their own instruments they sang vocals to their own songs,with The OK Express acting as a backing band. Following a rise in popularity and Joseph Ngoyi and his band being asked to leave by the hotel management, the Chimbetus were left without a band and were directed to Domboshava where they met up with The Sungura Boys.[4] After bringing in The Sungura Boys to Harare the Chimbetus continued to gain popularity[4]. At this point The Sungura Boys brought in James Chibadura to compose songs and sing for their own act and counter the fame of the Chimbetus.[4]

Eventually The Sungura Boys were asked to leave[4]and The Chimbetus formed The Marxist Brothers with help from their brothers Allan and Brian[5]. The band's first album "Mwana Wedangwe" was released in 1983.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Problem Masau,A fitting tribute to ‘Father of Dendera’,Published on 16 August 2013,Retrieved on 16 March 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [1],"",Retrieved on 16 March 2014 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "zim_legend" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Garikai Mazara,Chimbetu's ‘son’ an impostor?,"The Sunday Mail",Published 22 September 2013,Retrieved 16 March 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Wonder Guchu,[Simon Chimbetu was a closed box],"",Published 23 September 2011,Retrieved 16 March 2014
  5. Simon Chimbetu,"Ezomgido Online",Retrieved 16 March 2014