Ever since the dawn of the recording era it is believed that Satan has been an archetypal character who has shown up as a key player in popular music.
What cemented this potent, pseudo-romantic link between music and the occult is the belief that musicians could sell their soul to him in a Faustian exchange for musical greatness. This goes for both secular and even gospel musicians.
Many gospel musicians across the world have been accused of dabbling or being involved in some sort of sacred dark occultism.
One such artist who fell into the trap of being associated with the Prince of Darkness is the grizzled popular gospel musician Mechanic Manyeruke who is affectionately known as Baba Manyeruke, a recent interview with H-Metro has revealed.
The septuagenarian said that at the height of his career around the 1990s when he was the hottest thing, rumour had it that he had joined Satanism, a claim he vehemently dismissed as hogwash.
He conceded that it was not easy for him to debunk it and convince people as the rumour had spread like veld fire.
“It really affected me as a person since I had to convince people that I wasn’t into Satanism. Pastors would come here to give me strength and support and I only managed to get over it due to their support. Up to now, I don’t even know who started the rumour or the motive behind all those claims.”
The rumour did not only taint his name, it also had consequences to his mainstream spin, especially on radio.
“During the same period, my music was pulled off air on some radio stations and I believe some DJs had an agenda to push certain artistes. But as they say, you can never put a good man down and we are still in the game doing our best and people now know the truth.”
He also suspects that the rumour might have been spread by some of the people in churches where he used to sing.
“In life, there are some people who believe that it’s easy to destroy someone by creating such damaging rumours.”
Apart from these paralyzing rumors, Baba Manyeruke has also been a victim of false promises from pseudo promoters and even clerical ministers keen on adding density to their brands and he said he is bitter about it.
“I am not a cry baby as some people would want to put it across but I have been short-changed on many occasions. I have been promised cars and even houses by some popular prophets who never owned up. A few years back, there was a promoter who once promised me a Jaguar vehicle which I never asked for.
He called me and told me of the gift and I had to test drive the car from Premier Auto to OK Marimba along Samora Machel Avenue. I had a photo shoot standing besides the car at Sheraton (Rainbow Towers) but I never got it afterwards,”
And as meek-hearted as he is, the Nyika Yakanaka maker said he has forgiven the promoter but was hurt after being used by the businessman.
“It appears tsoro dzake hanzina kuzobuda zvakanaka but I never begged for the car and I was only hurt after he used my name for his own benefit. Initially, I had advised him to buy me a simple truck for my errands but he insisted that I accept the Jaguar, which never came my way.”
Currently, the legendary gospel icon is entangled in a documentary creation which is being filmed by James Ault, a documentary filmmaker, author and ethnographer from the USA entitled How Zimbabwe’s Josefa Became a Music Legend.
Check out the snippet here or below: