James Chimombe: The Untold Story

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Greetings H-Metro readers and fun-loving people! It’s an honor contributing to this column in my capacity as a musician, teacher and mother. As a daughter to the late James Chimombe, a lot has happened 27 years after his death and I have plenty to share with you my fans.



My real name is Tendai Chimombe, the first-born to the late legendary James Chimombe. I have five siblings namely Fred (late0, Linda, Linden, Kudakwashe and Tatenda. My mother Synodia Govera is still alive and still supportive of my career. I did my primary and secondary education in Highfield where I still reside. I am a full time musician who learnt the ropes from my departed dad.


It has always been my desire to ensure that I keep my dad’s legacy alive. And being a female artiste, I would be glad if I become a seasoned artiste who is capable of grooming fellow artistes. To ensure that I achieve all this, I will continue working hard for the good of the industry. I have lined up a number of shows both locally and beyond our borders to ensure that I keep my dad’s legacy alive.



I have always had a passion for music and I can say my love for music grew when I was six while in pre-school. At primary school, I joined the percussion band where I realized that I had a calling for music. I also joined a traditional dance group at school where I developed as a dancer and vocalist.


I vividly remember when my dad used to visit us with chicken and new clothes on Christmas holiday when I was still young. By the way, ndakakura nambuya and you could imagine how it felt when your dad visits you with goodies and presents on special occasions. Our dad would take us to Club Hide Out 99 in Lonchivar for family outings which was also memorable. He also took us for swimming sessions at one of his wives’ places and I still cherish those moments despite being a grown up.


Besides being largely self-taught, I also honed my skills at the Zimbabwe College of Music shortly after completing my Ordinary Levels. I can play mbira, guitar and drums, but of late I have given all those tasks to others. I also believe is sharing task and that’s why I have assigned all those duties to the others.


It’s hard to imagine that it took me close to a decade mourning the death of my dad who died on the 23rd of October in 1993. When my father died, a lot changed including our lifestyle since we had no one to fend for the family. My brother Fred took over the band and he used to perform at Juru Growth Point but he could not look after us. At one point I thought the world collapsed but I had to soldier on and move on.


When my father passed on, the whole family was heart-broken after my dad’s will disappeared and we don’t know what the future holds. Since he was customarily married, the estate was supposed to be inherited by the oldest son, but I wouldn’t want to be drawn into the issue. Up to now the estate wrangle is still unresolved and the Cranborne house which he left is still available. It’s also sad that 27 years after his death I haven’t benefited from the estate and only God knows how it is being run. I have, however decided to forget about it and be content with what I have and worked for. As for my dad’s royalties, I don’t even know who is benefiting from them and I wouldn’t bother myself over the issue since it is complicated.


By the way I was married shortly after my dad’s death and it’s sad to relies that my dad Havana kudya roora rangu. I was married to Filbert Marova (former Front Line Kids band member and music teacher) and we are blessed with two children- Tafadzwa (boy) and Tanatswa (girl). During out time, we would communicate though letters and my man was very religious with time and appointments. In fact, we met during one of the shows when we went out as a family and he didn’t know that I was daughter to the late James Chimombe. He only realized that I was James Chimombe’s daughter as we dated before he decided to pay lobola. We have separated, but we are still in talking terms because pane vana. Of course, a lot has been said, but we are in good books even though we couldn’t reconcile. Aimboda kunditsotsa but I could not give in. as for my son, he now plays the bass guitar for Winky D and he sometimes supports me when he is free. I am also looking forward to a daughter-in-law and I am confident my son won’t disappoint


Of course my life has been that of agony, weary and sorrow, but I have had my moments. And these moments happened when my dad was still alive when he used to take us for braai parties and swimming sessions. He loved music and he was also analytical and each time he went into the studio we were the first people to sample his stuff before it was released. He was a caring father who made life enjoyable and I will always cherish him.


By the way I am a Zimbabwe College of Music graduate and I have since released an album entitled- Tribute to the Legendary James Chimombe- which did very well on the charts. I’m currently working on a new album due for release soon.


I would like to thank all my fans who have been there for me over the years and of course my kids, media and family. I do promise more to come and fans should have faith in me. The James Chimombe legacy still lives. Happy reading.

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