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Victor Kunonga

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 with his wife, Olga and their son.

The traditional rhythms of the African drum laid the latent roots in Victor for the music he was to create in future; the influence of this music can still be felt in his own compositions and performances.

The musician in Victor started emerging when he was in 6th grade at Hugh Beadle Primary School in Bulawayo. The young Victor would write songs and perform them for all who cared to listen, of whom, fortunately were many. Victor, a natural and gifted artist also pursued the other artistic disciplines on offer in his environment, namely, acting, painting, drawing and the closest thread to his musical abilities that of playing and captaining the Marimba Band at Northlea High School in Bulawayo.

Getting Started
In 1999, his dream of enrolling with the college of music in Bulawayo was shattered when he was told he ought to have an instrument or two to be accepted by the college. Since he did not have one it only followed that he failed to enrol. He then moved to Harare to join a designing interest having completed a commercial designing course majoring in graphics.
“I still yearned to make music so I started writing songs in 1997, which I kept and constantly polished up as I prepared for my first album”. In the early half of 2001 Victor started attending music workshops at the college of music in Harare where he first handled a guitar to learn how to play the strings for the first time.

Making music
To date Victor has recorded two CD’s, Such is life -Ndanyengetedzwa a six track album and most recently UYO, both great contingent of songs crafted by experts in the trade who happen to be some of the countrys’ best musicians namely drummer Sam Mataure, bassist Kelly Rusike, Keyboardist Manasa Mujawo, Guitarist Zivanai Masango, percussionist Adam Chisvo, vocalist Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Richie Lopez on saxophone.

Songs such as Umazenza which warns a deviant child, Maidarirei which deplores child abuse, and Peace which advocates just that in the world, Nzara a touching song where Victor reaches out to all the millions who are starving have established Victor as a musician of note in Zimbabwe, who also derives inspiration from the masters of Zimbabwean music namely Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Louis Mhlanga, Chiwoniso Maraire and from general traditional rhythms.

The message
The music that Victor creates conveys messages that are universal in any language, child, marital abuse and peace sung in Shona and Ndebele. Through his words Victor strives to be a social commentator and this has been acknowledged as he was recently appointed by the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) to be one of the Ambassadors against Poverty in Southern Africa., performing at the recently held Stand Up Against Poverty concert held in Harare’s oldest high density suburb, Mbare.

As Victor will tell you it’s not about having top ten hits and number ones it’s about communicating to the people through his music and if he can make an impact then it has been worth the effort.

“Peace”
Victor formed the group “Peace” in 2004 and since then, they have been a part of every major festival in Zimbabwe and a regular feature at premium functions and Jazz clubs. Victor and Peace have also performed alongside musical greats like Oliver Mtukudzi, Steve Dyer, Malaika, Habib Coyete, Jabu Khanyile, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Judith Sephuma and Louis Mhlanga, to name but a few.


Victor’s personal values are Home-grown, Legacy, Passion, Original and Art. He will continue live his values by promoting the Home-grown art forms met during the course of his upbringing, channelling positive strong social commentaries through the creation and use of Original music. He will instil Passion in all that he touches and does, especially in the expression of his Art to leave a Legacy of hope and growth in the lives and hearts of all that hear him.

 

© Songear Ltd, UK 2016

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