Gwanda — based musician Thembinkosi Zhou, known in music circles as “Master Zhoe”, is on a mission of taking his music to every corner of Zimbabwe.
The musician and businessman told The Herald Arts that he believed he had the pedigree to attain national acclaim and he was encouraged by his strides to date.
“I grew up in Mberengwa and started music when I was eight years making sounds and beats with cans while singing along,” he said.
“This is how I became a drummer in primary school and even won a competition in a way that shocked the judges given my age back then.
“I then moved to Gwanda and having started recording in 2017, I now have five albums to my name. I have earned some good support, but I strongly feel that my music has got the quality and class to make me a national musician.”
Master Zhoe, who recently released a single titled “I am not alone” accompanied by a video, said he is inspired by sungura musician Nicholas Zakaria and his Khiama Boys outfit.
He has since recorded some duets with him.
“I have a new single titled “I am not alone” and I am doing a lot to market it. I have done some promotional skits and the song is generally receiving some favourable airplay, but my goal is to have it played across Zimbabwe together with all my past productions.
“I am inspired by sungura legend Madzibaba Nicholas Zakaria and I grew up listening to Khiama Boys. I am happy that I have managed to record some duets with him titled ‘Gwenyambira’ and ‘Ticheze’ from my 2020 album.
“Both songs did very well, especially ‘Gwenyambira’ which had an accompanying video.”
Master Zhoe, who is a self-taught drummer and rhythm guitarist, said he is also inspired by other musicians such as Alick Macheso, Winky D, Jah Prayzah, EXQ and a lot more musicians from around the globe who have done well in their respective careers.
The affable musician who is involved in a lot of charity work in Gwanda said he draws inspiration from his kids.
“My kids are my greatest motivators, they love my music and usually join me in the studio to urge me on when l record. It’s such a good feeling and it keeps me going.
“Though I am not married, I have two lovely kids who have taught me responsibility, and for that reason I always spare a thought for the less privileged. Besides the usual food and other non-food item donations to the needy, I give out free branded masks around my area to make sure people protect themselves from Covid-19.”
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Getting recognition outside his province has been Master Zhoe’s biggest challenge, but he feels he has done the homework well to steer himself to national stardom.
“I have five albums, my first being a 15- track album titled ‘The Margin’, then a second 2018 album titled ‘Imagination’ with 12 tracks, the third was a 12 track album titled ‘Ngingene’ in 2019, the fourth was a 10-track album titled ‘Heavy Piano’ in early 2020 and lastly the late 2020 album with 14 tracks, ‘Gwenyambira’ which featured the Senior Lecturer.
“I have a Harare-based manager who is helping me pull the strings. She is very good at what she does and I hope that when the situation allows we will explore live performances across Zimbabwe.”
Master Zhoe is also talented in soccer having started playing at an early age, but he has no plans to go professional.
He is also good on the steering wheel and has got a great liking for car racing and drifting, hence he is in the process of registering his car drifting association that will be up and running in the not so distant future.