22 years since the death of Leonard Dembo
Leonard Tazvivinga Dembo (6 February 1959 – 9 April 1996) was a Zimbabwean musician whose band, the Barura Express, became popular in Zimbabwe during the 1990s.
Dembo was interested in singing from an early age. He was largely inspired by the success of other musicians such as Jonah Moyo and System Tazvida.
In 1982 he joined an outfit known as the Outsiders. Here he was quickly identified as a talented young guitarist as he used to play the lead guitar. He even broke the charts with his early hit Dambudzo and Manga Majaira Matsotsi, the latter song which he released under the name of a band known as Five Notes.
Dembo grew in popularity during the late 80s, but his breakthrough was the 1991 hit 'Chitekete' which became the most popular song in Zimbabwe since 1980.
It was the only Zimbabwean song played at the Miss World Pageant in Namibia in 1992.
Then sometime in 1995 disaster struck. After a performance at Makoni shopping centre, Dembo went home and started bleeding through the nose. He is said to have lost so much blood in that nose-bleeding, such that when he stopped bleeding he started having a splitting headache, a headache which was so severe that at times he could not see, and at times not hear.
A headache was to persist through to the beginning of 1996, such that in April he was admitted to the Avenues Clinic and on Sunday before he passed away on Tuesday, he asked for his children to visit him in hospital. That was to be the last time that the kids, Morgan (then 10), Tendai (then 9) and Fenistia (then 5), were to see their father alive.
Leonard Dembo passed on, on Tuesday, April 9 1996. Article accredited to Zim Celebrities News.