THE National Building Society (NBS) kicked off its Christmas celebrations by giving back to the families of Zimbabweans who shaped the country’s music industry.

The Society’s recent engagement with the families of Zimbabwe’s music legends, Leonard Dembo and James Chimombe, both departed but whose legendary music still lives on, was part of its broader festive commemorations, dubbed the ‘Throw Back Festive Season’ campaign.

As part of the campaign, where tribute was paid to some of the country’s music icons, NBS handed over Christmas gifts to the Dembo and Chimombe families.

During the handover of the goods, NBS Head of Marketing, Ms Mildret Kujinga, said:

“We as NBS extend this token of appreciation to the Dembo and Chimombe families in honour of the amazing work of their fathers, legends of Zimbabwean music.

“Their legacy continues to inspire us, and their music lives on.”

For decades, Zimbabwe’s music legends have dug deep into their creative elements, not only to serenade us with exquisite lyrics and sounds, but through their music.  They have gone beyond to frame experiences, perceptions, and feelings that we would typically struggle to put into words. 

Yet some of Zimbabwe’s music legends have gone without the recognition they truly deserve.

“That is why the National Building Society has taken it upon itself to give appreciation to our music legends,” said Ms Kujinga.

NBS handed over Christmas gifts in honour of the country’s music legends.

Present to receive the gifts on behalf of their respective families were Tendai Chimombe, daughter of the illustrious icon, as well as Mrs Dembo and her son, Tendai Dembo.

“NBS employees had time to interact with the legends’ families. The families gave us rare insight into the lives they lived with their admired dads,” Ms Kujinga added.

One of those ‘admired dads’ was Leonard Dembo, also affectionately known as “Musoro we Nyoka”, who serenaded Zimbabweans with hits such as ‘Chitekete’ (1991), ‘Nzungu Ndamenya’ (1994) and ‘Shiri Yakangwara’ (1996), just to mention a few.

The legend’s son, Tendai Dembo, had nothing but positive words about his father:

“My dad was an icon. There can never be another Leonard Dembo. As I am also an artiste, I face the good and the bad…the good is that I ride on my father’s legacy, and it sort of opens doors as people still appreciate my father.

“The bad part is that I am always compared to my father. I’m an artiste, it’s a different journey. My dad did not emerge a star, he walked his journey. However, mine is a different journey, and I am still transitioning. As I am always compared, it can be disheartening at times.”

Tendai said he hopes to see corporates like NBS partnering with artistes to empower them with equipment, and also providing them with platforms to showcase their talent.

He added that Zimbabwe has incredible talent, but resources were few.

Leonard Dembo’s widow commended NBS for the gesture and spoke passionately about her loving husband, whom she referred to as “a loving husband and great dad.”

Having realized the challenges that Zimbabwe’s talented musicians go through, NBS is set to roll out a housing facility to serve the country’s artistes.

From our discussions with some of Zimbabwe’s’ artistes, we realized that there is a huge gap in terms of them not being able to own their own properties.

The daughter of the late music legend, James Chimombe, Tendai, said they would welcome help from NBS in terms of housing delivery for artistes who mostly do not have houses their own.

“My father was a good dad. I’m following in his footsteps and am also an artist in my own right, although in a slightly different genre from my dad. I would welcome help from NBS in terms of housing delivery for artistes like myself because most don’t have a roof of their own,” she said.

She anticipates a future with NBS, in view of their plans to launch a housing product for Zimbabwean artistes.

Ms Kujinga concluded:

“NBS intends to continue upholding the legacy of Zimbabwe’s music legends. Celebrating Christmas celebrations with their families is just but the beginning, where NBS will celebrate house ownership for artistes”

“As NBS we are happy to roll out the unique scheme that will ensure housing delivery for artists.”