Today we celebrate the life of one of Zimbabwe’s music icons, Andy Brown.
Brown sadly passed on today in 2012, just a day after his 50th birthday. Below we recall some interesting and notable facts about an artist that clearly contributed significantly to Zimbabwe’s music culture.
1. Andy Brown was not his real name.
Andy Brown was actually born Cadia Shoko in Mberengwa. His father was German and mother a Zimbabwean called Zvondiwe Ncube. It’s not clear why Shoko was his surname or why he adopted a different name. It may have been that an English sounding surname (as opposed to a Shona one) meant better treatment in colonial Zimbabwe.
2. Early interest in music
Brown was passionate about music very early in his life. It has been said he would miss school lessons at Founders HIgh School in Bulawayo to go and play the guitar.
3. The gifted Brown, worked with these amazing artists and more during his career.
4. Stuck to his convictions on land reform
Despite a lot of criticism and probably losing some fans as a result, Andy Brown stuck to his position of supporting the controversial land distribution programme by government implemented since the late 90s. At the time, Brown even penned songs such as VaChitepo, Tongogara and Chigaro Chamambo.
5. His daughter, Ammara Brown, has risen to become one of Zimbabwe’s current top artists.
The legacy Andy Brown left is the principle of living by your convictions no matter what. Even at the risk of his financial security Brown stuck to what he believed in. Whether you agree with his politics or not, he made his position clear and didn’t mince his words.
The legacy of his rich music will undoubtedly live on for future generations. His music – from as early as the 80s when he played with the Rusike Brothers and then Ilanga, to his forming the band The Storm where he led talented musicians such as Sam Mataure, the late Adam Chisvo, and where he made music with his wife Chiwoniso Maraire – made for a lot of good times fondly remembered by many.