Victor Kunonga

Victor Kunonga (born October 25, 1974) is a Zimbabwean award-winning afro-jazz singer and songwriter who rose to prominence in 2004, after releasing his debut album Such Is Life – Ndanyengetedzwa . Kunonga, who taught himself the acoustic guitar quickly became a household name with his second album that won him a Zimbabwe Music Award (ZIMA).

Background

Born on 25 October 1974 in Shurugwi, Victor is the eldest and only son in a family of four. He grew up in Bulawayo, though he now lives in Harare. He is married to Olga and they have a son together. Olga, who runs a crèche supports her husband's career since he quit his job to pursue music. [1]

Music Career

Kunonga started singing at a very young age while he was still in the 6th grade at Hugh Beadle Primary School in Bulawayo. He would write songs and perform at that tender age. He pruned his passion for music during his secondary school days by joining, playing and latter captaining the Marimba Band at Northlea High School in Bulawayo. In 1999, he failed to enroll with the college of music in Bulawayo because he did not have at least one instrument, which was a requirement for enrollment.[2] He had earlier in 1997 started writing songs in which he kept and constantly polished as he prepared to launch his first album. In 2001 Victor started attending music workshops at the College of Music in Harare where he first handled a guitar and learnt how to play the strings for the first time. He then went to release his debut album 'Such is life in 2003 which had six sing along songs.

Sound

Greatly inspired by Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo and Chiwoniso Maraire, his sound is a mixture of traditional rhythms of the African drum including mbira and marimba.

The message

Kunonga, who sings in both [[Shona and Ndebele,conveys messages that are universal in any language, child, marital abuse and all the day to day life of a Zimbawean child. He strives to be a social commentator singing about issues as they happen in life.[3] With songs such as Umazenza which warns a deviant child, Maidarirei which deplores child abuse, and Peace which advocates just that in the world, Kunonga reaches out to all the millions who are starving have established Victor as a musician of note in Zimbabwe.

Major Success

In 2007 Kunonga was appointed by the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) to be one of the Ambassadors against Poverty in Southern Africa.[4]

Awards

His second album Uyo won him the Zimbabwe Music Award in 2006 in the Best Traditional Contemporary Group/Artiste category.

Discography

  • Hatineti Album (2011)
  1. Pfungwa
  2. Wega Wega
  3. Marunjeya
  4. Ndiye
  5. Hatinete
  6. Kusadzidza - Hurombo
  7. Mufaro Rudo
  8. Toita Sei
  9. Watinyepera
  10. Maramba Kukura
  11. Handinete
  • Uyo Album (2006)
  1. Mandirasa
  2. Kana
  3. Kure (The Prodigal Son)
  4. Mamurega
  5. Munyamai
  6. Next
  7. Nzara
  8. Zivanayi
  9. Uyo
  • Such is Life Album (2003)
  1. Mayidarirei
  2. Umazenza
  3. Usacheme
  4. Ndanyengetedzwa
  5. Tigere
  6. Peace
  7. Usacheme Mix
  8. Mayidarirei Mix

References

  1. Zimbabwe: Olga Kunonga Fully Behind Victor's Chosen Career in Music, The Standard, Published 17 June 2012, Retrieved: 28 March 2014]
  2. BIO,Victor Kunonga Music, Retrieved:28 March 2014
  3. Victor Kunonga,Ezomgido Online, Retrieved: 28 March 2014
  4. All that jazz: Kunonga a rare, passionate musician, NewsDay, Published: 8 June 2012, Retrieved: 28 March 2014