Biographyrearranged to get a better chronology from original text by Fred Zindi, source www.herald.co.zw/what-happened-to-chibaduras-songs/
John "Chibadura" Nyamukokoko was born in 1957 in Guruve, Zimbabwe. His father and mother were itinerant farm labourers from Mozambique. In 1962, at the tender age of 5, John lost his mother and his father re-married a woman who was tough on John. Because he had a hard time with his step-mother, John was eventually forced to go to Centenary to live on a farm with his grandfather who was a talented mbira player. Unfortunately his grandfather also died 3 years later. From then on, John continued to live a nomadic life when he was passed from one relative to another.
In 1968, while in Centenary on a farm, he started to learn playing the banjo. The following year, there was a serious drought in Zimbabwe, and John, in search of further education and survival walked from Centenary to Darwendale where he settled at a farm called Wagon Wheels. He worked at the farm as a tractor-driver and lorry driver while attending school. He quit school after form 3. It took John another 10 years before he made the move that was designed to realise the dream of becoming the cherished musician he became.
He moved to Chitungwiza where he was soon to become popularly known as "Mr Chitungwiza", after the name of the town. Through his music, John soon became a household name. He initially formed a group with Simon and Naison Chimbetu called The Sungura Boys.
In 1985 he formed his own group known as The Tembo Brothers and immediately drew attention on account of Chibadura's intense voice and achingly poignant lyrics. Although their sungura beat was fast and furious, John's songs often told of downbeat misery, broken families, excessive dowries in "$5.000 Dollars Kuroora" and wasted opportunities. The sorrowfulness of the lyrics notwithstanding, the Tembo Brothers enjoyed a massive following among Zimbabweans and Mozambicans, where songs like "Zuva Rekufa Kwangu", "5,000 Dollars Kuroora" and "Nhamo Yatakawona" became big anthems.
Together with The Tempo Brothers John churned out some memorable albums such as "Vengai Zvenyu", "Hupenyu Hwandinetsa", "Sara Ugarike", "Sango Rinopa Waneta", "Pitikoti Government", "Ndiri muhondo", "Mune Majerasi", "Mutumwa", "Madiro", "Kugarika Tange Nhamo", "5000 Dollars Kuroora", "Kurera", "Zuva Guru", "Mudzimu Wangu", "Munhu Haana Chakanaka" and many more over the years.
In the early 1990s John toured the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. He also toured Mozambique where he was so popular that he only played in stadiums where his audiences at some point exceeded 40 000. In Mozambique he was often met by President Chisano. Though most of his life was spent in Zimbabwe, Mozambique regarded him as a long-lost son and when in the country he would be ferried to concerts by the presidential helicopter.
Before his death, on 1999 August 04, John Chibadura wrote the song, "Zuva Rekufa Kwangu". Everyone on this earth is assured of dying some day, but I remember asking John, when he penned that song in reggae, a genre which was different from his usual sungura beat, " Why are you predicting your own death? Are you about to die?" He did not give me a definite answer. However, I was the first DJ to play that song on Radio 3's reggae session one Thursday night and after that, the whole nation went crazy. The paroxysm of Chibadura-mania began then as I continued to receive non-stop requests for the song.
"Chibadura" was his nickname meaning roughly "the man who can do", or "the man who is the best and can beat all odds". Despite this apparent success, John died without a penny to his name but his legacy lives on.
Listen to the first song from the session
CHIBADURA-JOHN-19891119 - Peel Session BBC
tracklist: 1.Shira / 2.Diya Wangu / 3.Mukadzi Wangu / 4.Amai
line-up: John Chibadura (vocals, guitar) / Douglas Chibadura (backing vocals) / Innocent Makoni (backing vocals) / Mike Gunde (drums) / Bata Sintrio (guitar) / Charles Ruwizhi (bass)
PS: acc.to John Peel in his intro John Chibadura & The Tembo Brothers did also some recordings for Andy Kershaw, if anybody has any sounds from those, I'm interested so please let me know.....
Discography198?: Sungura Boys - Tasarira Nhamo (LP, #JLP.1009)
1985: John Chibadura & Sungura Boys - Kurera (LP, #ZIL.203) - at globalgroovers
198?: John Chibadura & Sungura Boys - Vol.3 - Kugarika Tangenhamo (LP, #??)
198?: John Chibadura & Sungura Boys - Vol.5 - Zvinodinetsa (LP, #TEL.2160)
198?: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Upenyu Hwandinetsa (LP, #ZIL.206)
198?: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Sara Ugarike (LP, #ZIL.208)
1987: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Kugarika Tangenhamo (LP, #ZIL.212)
1987: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - $5000 (Kuroora) (LP, #ZIL.216) [ re-CD]
1988: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Midzimu Yangu (LP, #ZIL.221)
1988: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Rugare (LP, #ZIL.223)
1989: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Munhu Hana Chakanaka (LP, #ZIL.231)
1990: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Mune Majerasi (LP, #ZIL.237)
1991: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Ndirimuhondo (LP, #ZIL.239)
1992: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Muranda (LP/K7, #ZIL/ZC.244)
1993: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Madiro (LP, #ZIL.255)
1993: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Sango Rinopa Waneta (LP, #ZIL.260) [re-CD]
Comp.198?: Sungura Boys - The Best Of (K7, #TEC.2063)
Comp.1989: John Chibadura - Essential (CD/K7/LP) - at globalgroovers
Comp.1990: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - More Of The Essential (CD/K7/LP)
Comp.199?: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers (K7, MGS #121785) - at awesometapes
Comp.199?: John Chibadura - The Best Of (CD, #CD.ZIL.300)
Comp.199?: John Chibadura - The Great Mr.Chitungwiza (CD, #CD.ZIL342)
Comp.199?: John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers - Yambiro (CD, #CD.ZIL.509)
VA-Chauya Chirizevha - Chimurenga from Zimbabwe (Comp) - at globalgroovers incl.Hosana by John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers