Leonard Zhakata

Bio

Leonard 'Karikoga' Zhakata (born 10 February 1968) is a Zimbabwean musician and singer. He writes and performs mainly in his native tongue, Shona. He composed his first song, 'Baba vaSamson' at the age of 13. He continued his schooling and later served an apprenticeship to become a qualified fitter and turner. After the frustration of being turned down by recording companies, he got his break and recorded his first single, 'Moyo Muti' in 1989, be followed by an album 'Yarira Mhere' in 1990. It was his 1994 smash hit 'Mugove', from the album 'Maruva Enyika', that evaded government censorship and propelled him to national stardom. Then aged 26, he became the youngest Zimbabwean musician to sell more than 100 000 copies of an album. 

Backed by a tight musical outfit, The Zimbabwean All Stars Band, and a well-choreographed dance display, Zhakata became a household name in Zimbabwean music. Zhakata is also known for his trademark glittering outfits and hits such as 'Tungidza Gwenya', 'Shungu Dzemwoyo', 'Hupenyu Mutoro', 'Batai Mazwi' and 'Gomba Remarara'. Later albums include 'Nzombe Huru' and 'Vagoni Vebasa'.

Zhakata nicknamed himself 'Karikoga' (meaning 'loner'), which appears to stem from the poverty he endured as a lone child. In fact, many of his albums have included at least one song dedicated to the suffering masses, particularly those whose upbringing was full of hardship. In 2006, Zhakata spoke out against the government and asked for the radio waves to be freed to allow Zimbabweans to operate radio stations. Some of his music has been blacklisted by the government and banned on state radio due to perceived political statements. In 2014 he was back in the charts with 'Dhonza Makomborero' and 'Dollar Boy' from his latest album, 'Zvangu Zvaita'

Music

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Leonard Karikoga Zhakata
Dhanza Makomborero
07:06
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Track artwork
Leonard Karikoga Zhakata
Ndiriuto
08:11
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Track artwork
Leonard Karikoga Zhakata
Rutendo Kunashe
06:28
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Photos

ZWHarare, Zimbabwe
In operation since: 
1989

Contact

+447460831472
Leonard Zhakata
Profile added by Linda Gabriel on 23 Jul 2014
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