Government of Zimbabwe pays tribute to music legend Zex Manatsa

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) expressed sadness on the death of NAMA legend, Zex Manatsa (78) who passed away at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

By Plot Mhako

In a statement, NACZ Director Mr Nicholas Moyo said the death of Zex had once again robbed the nation of one of its most talented, celebrated and revered artists who inspired many musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi, James Chimombe, Lovemore Majaivana, and Simon Chimbetu. 

Deputy Minister of Youths, Arts, sports and Recreation Hon Machakaire and the late Zex Manatsa.
In a state,emt the minister paid tribute to the veteran artist.

” My sincerest condolences to the Manatsa family and the entire Zimbabwean music family on the untimely passing on of the legendary Zacks Manatsa.

Zacks Manatsa began his music career in the 1950s as a young man of 17 and was famous for songs such as “Chipo chiroorwa” and “ Chechule ana vala bottom”. He was part of the musicians who performed alongside Bob Marley upon our attainment of independence.

He will forever be remembered for the legacy he has left in the music industry. He inspired legends such as the late Oliver Mutukudzi and Simon Chimbetu to name a few.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this trying time. May they find solace and comfort in the Lord.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Hon Machakaire

“The Board, Management and Staff of NACZ send their sincerest condolences to Mrs Manatsa and family and join the entire nation in mourning the death of one of the pioneers of township music,”

Nicholas Moyo – Director NACZ

Born in 1944, Manatsa launched his musical career in 1959 at the age of 15 performing covers with his young brothers as Mambo Jazz Band. 

He formed the Green Arrows Band in 1968 in Bulawayo. In 1972, the band was courted by a South African saxophonist West Nkosi, who became their producer resulting in the album, “Chipo Chiroorwa”.

Mr Moyo said Manatsa was a uniquely talented individual who was not only concerned about his musical career but also shared his talent with other musicians notably leading to the formation of the Sunrise Kwela Kings at Jairos Jiri Centre in Bulawayo where he advocated the inclusion of musical skills training.

“He was passionate about the welfare of artists. Growing up in an era when people looked down on musicians, he advocated for the recognition of music as a serious profession,”

Nicholas Moyo
Zex Manatsa and his family

During his decades-long career, Zexie released many tracks which have proved to be all-time hits keeping him top of Zimbabwe’s pop charts for many weeks

In 1979 he made history and broke records when he curated his wedding at Rufaro Stadium with fans paying $1 each to witness the ceremony. Rufaro Stadium was full to the brim with excited fans who had come to witness the amazing “Wedding of the Year”.

Last year Zexie Manatsa was one of the recipients of the NAMA legends@40 Awards for his consistent contribution to the development of the Zimbabwean Music sector.

Funeral Details

We would like to advise the nation of Zimbabwe that a Chapel Service for our father Zex Manatsa will be held at Nyaradzo Herbert Chitepo Parlour tomorrow, Saturday the 22 of January 2022. He will be laid to rest on Sunday 23January 2022 at Warren Hills Cemetery. Mourners are gathered at 3564 Westminster Road, Mabelreign. Harare.

The national Arts Council Director today announced that Manatsa will receive State assisted burial in honor of his work.


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