Rodger, Rodger…: ‘A Beer with Dickson Cde Chinx Chingaira’

Harare – The release of the chart-busting hit “Rodger Confirm” by the late Cde Chinx in 1989 coincided with the rolling out of ‘train buses’ by the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco).

The longer version public transporters were meant to easy commuting problems in Harare and Chitungwiza.

Derick Matsengarwodzi
For 25 weeks, the country was engrossed with his lyrics, taking a commanding stand on Radio 3 Hitpick charts programme. Not sure of the lines, we chanted along: “Rodger, Rodger, train bus”.

The correct chorus was: “Rodger, Rodger, stand by”.
The Late Cde Chinx Salutes the Crowd

It was not the first offering that dazzled many, courtesy of the former freedom fighter’s exploits. “Zvikomborero” and “Nerudo” were easy sing-along tunes that called for unity and love. For these projects, he combined his vocals with the late Don Gumbo as the now-defunct Ilanga ensemble.

Never the one to shy away from his beliefs, Cde Chinx left the group to pursue personal projects. And while others turned into trending genres, he stuck with his original, war-related beat.

“Vanhu Vese VemuAfrica” translated as “People of Africa” stamped his ethics for cohesion. His beret was a perpetual feature on his head, leading people to speculate that he had a permanent injury on his head.

On the video, he twirled on the African continent, caressing the map, while preaching peace. Like a true, loyal cadre, he would salute vigorously to show his loyalty to country and fans.

By the later 1998, I had become a regular imbiber around Chikwanha shopping Centre in Chitungwiza. Cde Chinx also made steady visits to the place, while he lived in Seke. And one day, while in the area, Cde Chinx appeared.

Filled with both fear and eagerness, I advanced to greet the man with the booming, sublime voice, I had adored since the 80s. He was sincere. I kick started a chat, on his musicals journey but he was not yielding.

While he enjoyed his beer, I partook on mine. His beret remained intact, with a broad smile to accommodate his admirers. For a man of his stature, he could have dismissed my advancement easily.

His family and colleagues defined him as a unifier, and with his musical feats, many including myself never doubt that characteristic.

At 61 years old, the rousing voice ceased to enchant its followers, though the echo of his song “Ngorimba” accompanied by his subtle dancing moves will dazzle the nation always.

We salute you Cde Chinx for leaving us a legacy to dance to. And to the earth, we say: Rodger, Rodger, stand by – Cde Chinx, son of the soil is coming.


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