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It took me 13 years to master a guitar — Lenso

By Titos Makondo

There is no place for a quitter in the band of those who would live to win, an old aged man of God once said.

These words are true to Lenso, a self taught guitarist who started learning to play a guitar at tender age and pumped his fist into the air after thirteen years of practice.

Born as Leonard Hlungwani from Chiredzi South, Lenso is his stage name. The 34 years old guitarist has never been at school of music. He can be best described as an autodidact who self taught himself as to adding to his musical talent.

As a novice, he was clueless to music making. But it was in 1997 at the age of 8, when the knowledge came to dawn like a blow on the belly. This on his first gape to Mario Chauke who was performing in his motherland

In a candid conversation with this publication, Lenso, a gifted sungura vocalist mentioned that he has drawn the inspirations to learn to play a guitar from Mario Chauke, who was by then a local sungura champion.

“When l was a chap l thought all the fascinating musics we hear streaming from the radios and TVs are automated and can not be doable by human beings.

“Even after being told of guitars, l couldn’t believe that they can be operated by humans to produce an awe sound,” said Lenso, empitomising Thomas the doubter.

“l was surprised to see Mario behind the guitar making different melodious tunes, since that day l got inspired and told myself that l also want to learn and become a prize guitarist,” he said, while lauding Mario.

He said he had no coach to show him the inklings to playing a guitar. However, that did not put a stop to his hunger to learn and master a new skill. Cluelessly, he handmade a guitar, and started self teaching himself.

“lt costed me thirteen years to master a guitar, that was in 2010 when l felt like I have all what it takes to start my own band,” he said, citing that with no hesitancy he then started his own band, Ntomeni Express, in 2013.

Bakosi Ayi lungangi hitmaker described Ntomeni Express as his own musical band made up of fourteen members, which are all his offsprings he groomed from ground roots as far as music is concerned.

He further pointed out that some members come and go but that is water under the bridge as he is used to it and always training and recruiting new members

Nevertheless, since his arrival in the music community, Lenso has never set his foot off the pedals. He is said to be at the peak of his artistic, and ever spotted in shows in most of the parts and corners of Chiredzi.

Meanwhile, he has dropped five albums: Katekisani, Ha khensa Hosi Yesu, Lamisaveni, Manda and Banga Ra Xikwembu, defined by fans as a long – lasting earthworm musics. The sky seems to be the limit despite the scarcity of funds and sponsors.

Lenso, who is working tirelessly to be a world class act, ended by reminding fans to keep voting for him in numbers in a musical marathon set by National FM.

For bookings, contact Lenso on +263 7 7992 0429

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