Born: Alick Chisale June 10, 1968
Education Mashayamombe Secondary School
Years active: 1982 to present
Organization: Orchestra Mberikwazvo
Home town: Shamva in Mashonaland Central Province
Spouse(s): Nyadzisai Butau
Children: Sharon Macheso, Alick Junior, Maneesha and 4 others
Parent(s): Hudson Chisale and Emilia Chisale nee Macheso
Alick Macheso is one of Zimbabwe’s top Sungura musicians of all time. He is an award winning guitarist, lyricist, and dancer. Macheso rose to prominence in the early 1990s with his album ‘Magariro’ which carried the hit ‘Pakutema munda’ and ‘Baba namai’.
After independence, Macheso came to Harare in 1983 where he joined the Shepherd Chinyani-led Vhuka Boys. He was earlier taught how to play the lead and bass guitars by Rogers Chimusoro and Chinyani respectively. Macheso, whilst touring with the band later met Nicholas Zakaria. Since the Vhuka band had no equipment, Macheso was forced to abandon it and later joined Zakaria who was staying in Epworth. The latter had formed the Khiama Boys earlier. When he temporarily hanged the mic, to concentrate on driving, Macheso then decided to form the Orchestra Mberikwazvo with Zakaria Zakaria, Nicholas’ younger brother.
With the help of the Bhundu Boys, Macheso went on to release popular albums such as ‘Simbaradzo’, ‘Zvakanaka Zvakadaro’ and ‘Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya’. Macheso rose to fame with the album Magariro that had a number of hits including Pakutema Munda, Baba naMai among many others. Vakiridzo and then another Simbaradzo in 2000. Zvakanaka Zvakadaro came in 2001, Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya in 2003 and was followed by Vapupuri Pupurai some two years later. Ndezvashe was recorded in South Africa after Macheso’s contract with Gramma Records expired.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was reported that Macheso and Tongai Moyo were not seeing eye to eye. Macheso allegedly labeled Moyo a copycat. The rivalry between the two was even evidenced by the media as journalists took sides. However, Macheso vehemently denied the claims as lies.
- Magariro (1998)
- Vakiridzo (1999)
- Simbaradzo (2000)
- Zvakanaka Zvakadaro (2001)
- Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya (2003)
- Vapupuri Pupurai (2005)
- Zvinoda Kutendwa (2010)
- Kwatabva Mitunhu(kure kwekure)(2012)
- Tsoka Dzerwendo (2016)
- Dzinosvitsa Kure (2018)
- Zuro Ndizuro (2020)
Macheso has won several National Arts Merit Awards and Zimbabwe Music Awards. These include;
Best Song of the Year – Madhawu(2003)
Best Live Performer (ZIMA) (2004 and 2005)
Best Sungura Artiste (ZIMA)
Macheso was born to Hudson and Emilia Chisale. His parents were of Malawian origin. They migrated from Malawi and then to Mozambique driven by the desire for farming. However, since Macheso’s father, Hudson Chisale was a musician, Macheso’s mother’s family would not let their daughter marry him. As a result, Macheso was named Alick Silva-Macheso, after his immigrant Mozambican mother’s surname. Macheso grew up with his mother(after she was remarried) at a farm in Shamva in Mashonaland Central Province. He has four half-brothers – Partson, Harrison, Mike and Jones – and a sister, Hilda. He is married to Nyadzisai with five children – four girls and a boy. In 2011, he took a second wife, Tafadzwa Mapako and had two children with her before the two divorced in 2014.
Macheso had a passion for music from a very tender age whilst doing his primary education. He was taught how to play the two string banjo by his uncles Julius and Rogers Macheso. His talent in playing the instrument was vivid as he surpassed his mentors and started challenging himself by adding more strings to his guitar. All this while, he was a primary school student at Enterprise Primary School in Shamva. His passion further grew after he finished school. He would sing and play the guitar while going to the fields and tending to the vegetables at Hereford Farm where he worked. After work, he would sit on some rocks with his uncles practicing the guitar. At age nine, Macheso had already become a magnet for young girls whom he serenaded with his guitar strings.
Alick Macheso was appointed Red Cross Zimbabwe Ambassador in 2013 after the society noticed his efforts to improve the welfare of the vulnerable and sick through his annual Chitungwiza General Hospital Charity show. “As a humanitarian organisation, we are touched by the work Macheso has been doing through holding Annual Benefit Concerts for Chitungwiza General Hospital in the past few years.
“These concerts which are his direct brainchild have helped improve service delivery at Chitungwiza Hospital and also contributed to its recent ISO certification.” He added: “Macheso has also been paying school fees for orphaned and vulnerable children at Kushinga Phikelela outside other individual philanthropic activities. “Such acts are consistent with our nationwide humanitarian interventions and we are honoured to have him as our Humanitarian Ambassador.”
Macheso’s ambassadorial role would include helping in humanitarian work and writing songs for the society. The musician’s band will in return get free medical cover from Iranian Red Crescent and their security officers would be trained in first aid. Macheso thanked the organisation for noticing his work.