By: Rodreck Matsveru
The name Tongai Moyo brings memories of a glamorous and flashy sungura artist who also had a rhumba flavor in his sound. The other striking thing that comes to mind upon hearing the name Tongai Moyo is a set of flashy dancers who had these awesome dancing styles.
When I heard that one of his sons had just released a new song which is in the spotlight, I thought of the same old scenarios when kids inherit an already built and quite successful empire. I never thought that there would be something extraordinary about this upcoming artist. My assumptions about Tongai Junior were further supported by what I first encountered one day as I was going through the press; it said that Ronnie Mudhindo, a former band member of his father’s band has helped Tongai Junior in reviving his father’s legacy. As someone who had made up his mind, I did not bother myself to continue reading about this guy.
All this was proven wrong when I got a chance to chat with the young Dhewa. The man has a touching and inspiring story. At one point he had to live in the streets, worked as an assistant builder, selling pit sand, and getting into dancehall music before making it to the spotlight. Some of the challenges he managed to overcome are quite unbelievable.
Who is Obert Tongai Junior Moyo?
Well, some might be asking who this Obert Tongai Junior Moyo is. A lot of people who follow sungura music have heard about Tongai Dhewa’s son that is Peter Moyo, he is not the only son of Tongai Dhewa Moyo the late, there is also Obert Tongai Junior, who just turned 23 on the 4th of March this year. He was born and grew up in Kwekwe in his early childhood. Unfortunately, due to challenges the family encountered after the death of his father, he relocated to Harare where he finished his O- level studies. As of last year, he entered the music industry where he sees himself as an international star in the making.
Early life Challenges
In an interview with him three weeks ago, Tongai Junior said after the passing of my father we stayed under the care and welfare of my brother but the rosy life did not last as disputes grew among me and my brother, it did not take days until I found myself in the streets for a month’
“Other family members took me to the rural areas to stay with my grandmother, Gogo Chihera, the relatives from my mother’s side took me to Harare so that I complete my O- levels,” said Tongai Moyo Junior.
Upon completing O-level Tongai Moyo Junior found himself doing menial jobs starting with offloading sacks at Metro Peech and Brown Wholesalers, to becoming an Assistant Builder (“Dhaka boy” and selling river sand,). When I finished my O- level I went to work at Metro Peech offloading mealie meal sacks due to cash shortages we were stopped, I became a building assistant (Dhaka Boy, I also learnt how to build houses in Harare, later on, I started selling sending (Jecha Bonga as they say it).
I ventured into dancehall music where I learned studio operations in 2016 and then relocated to South Africa where I got into construction again.
The Music Journey
Music has always been in my blood, in 2016 when I did collaborate with Brian Samaita titled “Dhewa Vedu”, it got some airplay and this motivated me to get into the music industry. Having gone through a lot of suffering in life at an early stage, I did not want to go back to a life of poverty again.
“Having suffered for almost three-quarters of my life keeps me going on. My family, my fans, and the support I get from them inspires me a lot”, said Tongai Junior. Also, Tongai said he gets inspiration from his mother and grandmother, “My mother and my grandmother Gogo Chihera have encouraged and are always encouraging me to go an extra mile to prove my worth of the name Tongai Moyo.”
In 2020 he recorded a song titled Cain and Abel which he said, sounded controversial as many people thought he was referring to his big brother Peter when he was emphasizing the importance of unity in the family setting.
The song was nominated for the ZIMA Awards in a category in which the award was won by Nicholas Zachariah, also the song made it to number 15 on the radio Zimbabwe to 50 songs of the year 2020.
Tongai sees himself becoming an international star by the year 2030 he said he is moving within the timeline of the nation ‘s Vision 2030.’’ In terms of the vision, I am moving with the same target of the nation 2030, In 2030 I will be an international star, I have strategies that I am employing, my fans, the makorokoza depot, and everyone who follows us, are not going to regret’’