Fame has never translated to fortune for musician Noel Zembe. The gospel musician, who rose to fame with the hit “Ndaiwana Hama”, is not alone in the paradox of fame without fortune in the local arts industry since many artistes suffer the same fate.
But Zembe’s case is somehow unique since he has been at the mercy of marauding misfortunes that pull him back every time he tries to take off from his apparently permanent bleak patch.
Since he got on the limelight at the turn of the millennium, Zembe’s tale has never been rosy. There have been reports of him failing to pay for the repair of his car (when he still had one) before it turned out the musician had become a vendor to earn a living.
When Zembe was involved in an accident last year and had his leg amputated, there was information that the musician had become a conductor of a commuter omnibus in which he was when the accident occurred. He struggled to raise money for hospital bills until well-wishers intervened. There have been so many sad stories about Zembe’s life but the musician keeps hoping that life will get better one day and he would return on limelight through music. The musician always hopes his next album would take him to his dreamland of reaping fortunes from singing.
Even now, Zembe is hopeful that his next album after he fully recovers from the injuries of the accident would take him to another level.
He has not given up on music like other waning musicians like Gift Amuli who has turned to mining or Njerama Boys that have resorted to cotton farming.
Hope keeps driving Zembe. He is optimistic of the proverbial light at the end of a tunnel.
He is convinced one day his dream would turn real. He does not only have passion for music but he also has faith that if the art plucked the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Thomas Mapfumo and Leonard Zhakata from the jaws of poverty, the same miracle might one day knock at his door. He has heard about lady fortune’s smile and hopes that smile would come his way if he keeps trying.
In an interview with The Herald Entertainment this week, Zembe said he is still raring to go and would fight his way back to music fame as soon as he gets well. “It is normal to get involved in an accident but the injuries have affected my plan to return to the music industry in a big way. My work was affected when I was involved in an accident because I could not market an album I had just released. I hoped to reclaim my fame in music through the album but the accident derailed all the plans,” said Zembe.
The “Ndaiwana Hama” hit maker said he has sourced funds to have an iron in his leg removed so that he gets complete healing.
“I managed to get the money and I will soon make a booking at the hospital to have the iron removed. I will resume music as soon as I get well.”
Last year the musician released an album titled The “Return of Zembe” and it is still to make an impact on the music scene. He said poor marketing had affected his album on the market.
“It failed to get proper marketing and that is the first thing that I am going to do upon my return,” he added.
For a musician that has been in the industry for a long time since his days with Frontline Kids (later Frontline Krew), Zembe knows that patience is pivotal in the music industry. Even when he was struggling to get money for medical bills just after the accident he left everything to God and prayed for intervention from stakeholders in the music industry.
“We had no money for hospital bills and everything that was needed but through God who gave my fans, fellow musicians, relatives and friends the situation was made easy and I got the needed medical attention.
“Things are taking shape now and I am preparing to do another album as soon as I fully recover,” said Zembe.