Safirio Madzikatire

Great Zimbabweans...
Safirio Madzikatire
Mukadota was a legendary, multi-talented artist who is considered as one of the best comedians and musicians ever to emerge out of the country. He rose to prominence in the early 1980s when he played the role "Mukadota" on The Mukadota Family, a Shona drama which ran on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television. Mukadota is best known for his talent of mixing humor and music on stage. His songs "KuHanyani" and "Usandisiye" became instant hits and scaled him to dizzy heights.
Mukadota started his artistic journey in the 1940s when he was still a pupil at Chitsere Primary School in Mbare. It is there that his passion for art developed and grew. To hone his craft, he joined the couple Kenneth and Lainah Mataka in 1948. The couple had already established itself as the answer to un-nurtured talents. It is this couple that taught Mukadota how to sing and play the guitar.
[1] Satisfied with his prowess, Mukadota then left to become a nomadic comedian and solo guitarist. When he got into the industry, musicians were not held in high esteem neither were they recognised but his passion led him to forget all this and forge ahead.
[2] At that time he rubbed shoulders with the best music group at that time which included Golden Rhythm Crooners and the Cool Four. By 1953 when the groups toured the country, Safirio partnered with them as he made his way to stardom.
He made a name for himself among the country's best through his polished acts when he introduced drama. He acted alongside Susan Chenjerai known as Mai Rwizi and dancer-cum-actor Elizabeth Taderera affectionately known as Katarina. Madzikatire later joined the Great Sounds as he did not have instruments of his own. He performed with the group for a short time after which he joined another band the Afro Jazz Fiesta. In 1964, he included Susan Chenjerai in the band after the two met in Mbare. The group went on to release a smash hit "Isaac Hauchandida Here" in 1967. After the group disbanded in 1971, Mukadota joined and later led the Delight band. This was when he founded the sea Cottage Sisters that moved with the Ocean City Band and at the same time started a radio programme known as Mhuri YavaMakore. The drama featured his son Elijah Madzikatire, Susan and Susan’s late daughter, Patricia. Produced by Webster Shamu, the drama was a step further to Mukadota's glory.
[3] A disagreement ensued between the producers resulting in the change of name to Mhuri YaVaMukadota in 1972. Mukadota's fortunes hit rock bottom in 1980s, after infighting leading to the formation of the New World Band, which failed to bring back the good old days.
Mukadota was honoured numerous times albeit posthumously following his death in 1996. Fellow musician and superstar Oliver Mtukudzi dedicated the song "Andinzwi" to him. A Harare primary school has also been named after him. In 2003, He was awarded a posthumous Arts Service Award in 2009 by the National Arts Merit Council. He was also posthumously honoured with a life-size statue by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe.
[4] In the same year, Mukadota was honoured for his great artistic performance that inspired many to take up comedy and music as professions.
Mukadota was a carpenter by profession before venturing into music and acting.

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