One of sungura music’s godfathers, Nicholas Zakaria has left Walter Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries, a church he served for five years.
The singer is now a member of Ebenezer Prophetic Ministries International led by one Ezekiel Masiyandima, also a former member of PHD Ministries.
Masiyandima’s church is based in Chitungwiza.
“I left PHD Ministries because of the distance. It was difficult for me to travel to Waterfalls (Harare) from Chitungwiza regularly. I was spending much of my time on the road, therefore it was also affecting my work,” Zakaria said.
The ‘Mabvi Nemagokora’ hit maker was one of the founding members of the PHD Ministries; he joined the church in 2013 in Chitungwiza before it moved to Waterfalls in the capital.
“At PHD Ministries, I served as a ministerial worker hence I was expected at the church time and again. This jeopardised my rehearsals. Now, it is much easier to operate from Chitungwiza.”
Popularly known as Madzibaba, Zakaria crossed the floor from apostolic to Pentecostal churches in 2013 when he joined Magaya.
He was a staunch member of mapositori for 25 years.
“I joined the apostolic church in 1988. I was a member of Johanne Masowe YeChishanu for 19 years before moving to Mugodhi in 2007 in search of Bible teachings,” he said.
Zakaria is among several asrtists who left Magaya-led church since it was formed.
The list includes Beverly Sibanda and Enisia Mashusha of Mambokadzi dance group among others.
Meanwhile, the sungura maestro wants to quit music because it is no longer paying.
“Life is getting cumbersome with each day. We are realising small profits from music business due to piracy and the shrinking economy. The situation has forced the bulk of musicians to think outside the box so as to survive.
“This time around I wanted to drive cross-border buses but the plans hit snag after my family disapproved the idea. They discouraged me to do so,” he said.
After the family shot down his plans to shelve the guitar for steering wheel, Zakaria is now eyeing agriculture.
“I have acquired a farm in Mvurwi. I am working on modalities on how to cultivate it,” he said.
Zakaria is also enjoying working with Zimdancehall musicians.
“We are helping each other. So far I have collaborated with Jah Signal, Shugeta, Roki, Sabastain Magacha and Juntal among others.
“I like their style though I constantly urge them to clean their lyrics. I also mentor them to play live instruments for them to be regarded as ‘complete’ musicians.”
This comes after the Chitungwiza Cultural Ambassador, revered for nurturing talents inform of the late System Tazvida and Macheso failed to raise funds for his forthcoming studio album ‘Inzwa Unzwe’ launch this year.
“I was planning to launch ‘Inzwa Unzwe’, my 27th album this December but I failed due to lack of funds. A certain business person once promised to promote the album, starting with the launch, but has since reneged on the promise. As a result, I am forced to release the album next year,” Zakaria said.
This would not be first time that he has quit the music profession for his driving passion.
In 1997, when he was band leader of Khiama Boys which comprised Alick Macheso, Zakaria dumped the band and started work as a driver.
That resultant stoppage forced Macheso and the rest of the band to consider other options leading to the latter’s forming Orchestra Mberikwazvo band.
Zakaria worked for some time as a cross-border truck driver, before he decided to return to the music business in 2002.
And he is thinking of doing that again.
He complained bitterly saying it is now very difficult for a musician to survive solely on art in Zimbabwe.
“That is why I shelved my guitar between 1997 and 2002 to concentrate on driving haulage trucks. I was operating in southern and East African countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania among others,” he said.