Sarungano still standing still

Innocent Sarungano Kufkunesu
Innocent Sarungano Kufkunesu

Talkmore Gandiwa

Born to music-loving parents, 120km away from the Capital in a high-density suburb of Chegutu is a musical maestro Innocent “Sarungano” Kufakunesu.


By the time his family moved to the Norton suburbs, the stuff he had been raised on – dirt biking, keen interest in country jazz music blasting into the wee hours – was ingrained in his DNA.

“It’s always been in me,” says Kufakunesu.

After going around from one school to another during the primary stage Sarungano attended his secondary school Kutama secondary school and that where he get to pull the strings of a guitar with the help of the school teacher who later establish the school bank in the drive to lit-up the passion of music in the school band.

“thanks to my teacher who gave me the opportunity of being intimate with the guitar for the first time, it felt so good and this changed everything, that is when I started to write my own songs,” he says

“back to the streets of Norton, I was musically adopted by Pakare Paye the greatest music hub in the land, it pushed the acoustic sound in me and natured it into a big brand which gave birth to my band the Storytellers”

Pakare Paye Arts Centre is one of the initiatives by Zimbabwe’s legendary and musician Oliver “Tuku” Mutukudzi. It is an art hub that has produced renowned names like Mbeu

“to be at the feet of the late Music ambassador and world icon Oliver Mtukudzi made a great impact on my life career, as I got to learn how to craft my art as a professional entertainer,” he said with a smile

The Storyteller is a name that has been derived from the concept of telling the African story

With a decade in the music industry, the young man is making a mark in the arts industry

“My type of music has a storytelling within it but also deeper than that I am very interested in telling the African story, where the continent is currently standing economically and socially and the beauty that it carries,” said Kufakunesu.

Growing up, Kufakunesu could find anything that could make him feel that he is playing the guitar in front of a congregation as part of his self-gratification, but it took a live-show epiphany to motivate him to take music seriously.

“Before that, I would just mess around on with my friend’s guitar and play a couple of chords,” he recalls. “Then, during my early days in the music industry, I saw Tuku playing that really inspired me.”

These days, in between playing gigs this summer, Sarungano is busy writting, and determining the final songs for his album, planned for release later in 2022. Some songs were written in personal experience of life; others were written on the back deck or in the bedroom (converted into a studio), of the Norton house he was renting.

After years spent playing and learning from other bands, Sarungano released his first album called Sarungano and the storytellers which motivated him to do another song that is projected to be released by end of the year.

“I’ve been lucky to play guitar for other people, and that allowed me to work silently on my own writing,” he says. “I’ve been working towards this project since the benign of the year. In a weird way, the pandemic prompted that to happen… It was a quick pause that allowed me to kick my project into the next gear of what I wanted people to hear.

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