Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor

ALICK MACHESO’S handlers insist they are busy in studio working on their 12th album.

The yet to be named album was set to coincide with Macheso’s 52nd birthday celebrations on June 10 but the production was stalled as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown pronounced by the President.

The lockdown has since been extended indefinitely with reviews being carried out after every fortnight.

And being the sungura ‘key-holder’ and biggest crowd-puller/pleaser, the Orchestra Mberikwazvo camp has vowed not to starve fans of new stuff anymore.

In an interview with H-Metro, Orchestra Mberikwazvo publicist and head of communication – Tich Makahamadze – said work was in progress at Alema Studios.

“We are busy in the studio recording new songs and holding rehearsals in groups,” he said.

“We have been rehearsing the new songs for months now but we had briefly stopped due to the lockdown as we wanted the situation to recede.

“However, we have realised that we can’t afford to rest on our laurels as work needs to be done.

“We are recording in compliance with the World Health Organisation regulations which calls for social distancing, sanitising and observing hygiene all the time.

“As a band, we have a huge following and people have been making enquiring after realising that we had a big market out there which has been waiting for new music.

“With the suspension of live shows owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot was stalled but we can’t afford to fold arms because we don’t know when normalcy will return.”

Makahamadze said they were however not under pressure from fans to release their 12th adding that Macheso was a perfectionist.

“Fans might be giving us pressure to release new stuff, especially on lockdown but we can afford to give them half-baked stuff.

“We had our traditional way of doing things but with the new developments we are prompted to change a bit and still maintaining the quality.

“Mdhara is a perfectionist who always want to give fans the best stuff each time he records,” he said.

Asked how they were engaging fans during the extended national lockdown, Makamadze said:

“We are using our social media platforms  to engage fans as we normally do but it can never be enough.

“We are also doing live broadcast like what others are doing just to keep fans posted.”

He however conceded that they missed public performances like any other artistes.

“Of course many things are now done online these days but there is a huge difference as compared to live shows.

“Of course people who want to see us holding more online shows but there cost of data is beyond the reach of many while others don’t have the proper gargets to catch us live.

“We will remain patient and see how it goes and we also hope it’s going to be a passing phase that we will talk about and tell our grandchildren about it.”

Makahamadze said all was well in their camp as they are regularly in touch with other supporting staff.

He said he was also pleaded by the compliance of their band members  and right now all the attention was on their 12 album.

Macheso last released his 11th album Dzinosvitsa Kure in 2018, which attracted a record crowd at  Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.

This was the last time he performed at what used to be his traditional and favourite hunting ground.

Other albums that makes his rich  and powerful discography complete comprise Tsoka Dzerwendo, Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure) , Zvinoda Kutendwa, Ndezvashe-h, Vapupuri Pupurai, Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya, Zvakanaka Zvakadaro, Simbaradzo, Vakiridzo and Magariro.