Legendary musician, Zex Manatsa, has died.
He was 78.
Manatsa succumbed to cancer.
The announcement of his death was made on the late musician’s Facebook Page with his son Tendai confirming.
“With great sadness we would like to let everyone know that our father, our legend, pastor and sekuru Zexie Manatsa has succumbed to cancer. May his dear soul rest in peace”.
Manatsa, born in 1942, was a founder member of the Green Arrows Band, originally known as the Mambo Band. At the age of 15, he began his musical career which started in Mhangura.
In 1974, the Green Arrows began writing their own songs to mass appeal. South African saxophonist West Nkosi who was also a consultant for Gallo Records, discovered the band and became their producer in 1977.
The resulting album, Chipo Chiroorwa, sold so well that the band became known all over Zimbabwe. Their success continued in the 1970s and 80s, as they continued to go on well-received tours and produce hit records.
Some of their most memorable songs include their protest tunes Nyoka Yendara and Tsuro. Their 1981 album Mudzimu Ndiringe was also produced by Nkosi. Manatsa also introduced the late Oliver Mtukudzi and several other bands of the time to Nkosi.
Manatsa remained popular in the post-independence era, producing hits such as Chivaraidze and Tii Hobvu. The band’s popularity only declined in the early 1990s when Manatsa was involved in a horrific car accident.
He temporarily suffered loss of memory during his hospitalisation.
He attributed his survival to the grace of God and for this reason, he decided to pursue religious work. He then joined the Zaoga Church where he used his musical skills and knowledge of interaction with crowds to preach the word of God.