Veteran Zimbabwean drummer Douglas Vambe is set to release his first ever jerusarema/mbende video later next month. The video will be recorded at his Kenty farm, which was allocated to him by the Government last year. Vambe, who composed the jerusarema/mbende drumbeat that accompanies news bulletins on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, said the video is meant to honour the Government and nation at large after he was given a 100-hectare farm last year as a token of appreciation for the beautiful drum beat.
“This will be my first time to feature in a video recording and I hope the final product will be a marvel to watch. “The main objective of the video is to thank the authorities who gave me the farm and again, I believe the video will the first of its kind inasfar as mbende is concerned. “The shooting will be done at both the farm and my home. “It will feature some of the best jerusarema dances and sounds and I know it will also go a long way in reminding Zimbabweans about our history,” he said.
Vambe’s farm is situated in Kenty, Marondera, on the boundary with Murehwa. Meanwhile, the Marondera-based drummer thanked all the stakeholders who donated farming inputs to him. “The farm is there but the problem is that last year I failed to utilise it because I had no farming inputs. “But this season I received a lot of inputs from various people and I thank everyone who extended a helping hand,” he said.
The decorated drummer, however, requires implements such as a tractor and other machinery to put the farm to maximum use. Until he got the farm, Vambe had not been rewarded ever since the drumbeat was recorded at the then Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation studios in Mbare in 1962. The drumbeat has been on the airwaves ever since.
Efforts by Vambe to engage authorities at the RBC and later ZBC for royalties failed and this development came as a relief to the 68-year-old drummer. At one time, Vambe demanded Z$5 million from ZBC as compensation, but to no avail. He had also tried to engage RBC authorities when the drum was first played but did not get any joy.
He brought the drums from Chimanimani in the early 1960s. It is the same drum he still plays across the globe today. The drumbeat is so popular that when ZTV removed it from introducing and concluding its news bulletins for a few days in 1999, there was an outcry from viewers across the country. (Herald)