Music flows in multi-talent Tawanda Mapanda’s veins as his career soars

It is not very often that we celebrate ‘the back line’ or ‘brass sections’ of live acts. All focus is usually only on the headlining star at the front. Tawanda Mapanda is one such artist who would never find his name in any press article or on flyers or posters because of the nature of his job, work and artistry – band musician.

By Plot Mhako

Interestingly this narrative is starting to change as we witnessed this week following the death of dancer-cum-drummer Delroy Scara Maripakwenda who was mourned by the entire industry.  

Tawanda is a Saxophonist, Marimba master and coach, Mbira player, Percussionist and Composer. He is one of the few back-liners who is fast finding his foot in the front of the house as his musical influence and impact grows.

A product of one of the best schools to produce and nurture musical talent, Prince Edward School the 23 year old who has amassed so much demand for his musical gift and skill, possesses so much power in the potential of stardom and recognition.

Now a music teacher teaching Marimba amongst other instruments in Schools, creating a personalised signature of as a musician boasting of strong work ethic and discipline.


Not every artist can be a session musician but some backline musicians can be superstars and Tawanda is one of them.

The audience at most remember the lead artist and the songs they sang and not necessarily the particular band members who helped compose the music.

Working as a session musician and building a reputation that gives you continuous business is not easy in Zimbabwe but Tawanda has managed to become one of the most sought after instrumentalists. Tawanda has been on call for impromptu bands put together to support myriad artists in one big gig like HIFA opening show or Gospel Galas or awards shows and festivals. 

Tawanda certainly has the tools in the bag (saxophone, marimba) for a good fusion genre.  Here are some of the projects he has been involved in.


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