First Farai changes lifestyle, drops celebrity tag
Unfamiliar images of musician First Farai writhing in pain on his hospital bed solicited sympathy from many when they leaked to the public domain a fortnight ago.
Some concluded the sungura musician was down with Covid-19, not a surprising guess considering the havoc being caused by the disease.
The 43-year-old was a pale shadow of the usually bubbly and hyperactive Hurudza Express boss, as he cut a forlorn figure while writhing in pain at Westview Clinic.
Well, he has even lost some kilogrammes.
First Farai complained of severe abdominal pains, which are now suspected to be linked to cancer of the colon, although tests are still being done to make a conclusion.
With the Covid-19 Delta variant in our midst, many feared for the worst that First Farai might have contracted the more virulent virus.
Westview Clinic boss Dr Johannes Marisa cleared the air, highlighting that the Chinhoyi-bred singer had been diagnosed with abdominal pains.
He said further tests would be carried out to ascertain the severity of his problem.
“We are doing our best to manage his condition since he is suffering from severe abdominal problems,” said Dr Marisa.
“We have managed to suppress the pain while further tests are being carried out, especially the colonoscopy to establish if he is not developing a serious problem (cancer of the colony) which is a possibility.”
Following the singer’s admission to hospital, The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle tracked him to further open up on his condition and lifestyle in the wake of Covid-19.
Born Aliah Mwanambo, First Farai said the Covid-19 pandemic has come as a lesson to him.
The Music Crossroads Inter-regional winner said he has never lived a superstar life and was not even ashamed to ask for help from Dr Marisa when he fell sick.
“I have never lived a lie in my entire life ever since I became a celebrity,” he said.
“I am one person who was groomed by elders to humble myself before others. I was also lucky to have passed through the Music Crossroads talent search programme where I was taught many aspects of life that I still apply at the moment.
“I don’t see myself as a superstar, I always talk and mix with my hommies and old parents. I have never struggled because I have right people around me and that is why Dr Marisa has decided to give me free treatment.”
First Farai said because of his current situation he has decided to drop the celebrity tag.
I am a normal person, seek help and don’t be shy to open up. We are no longer the same because of Covid-19.
“I have dropped the celebrity tag and anyone can approach me with no celebrity status in mind. The celebrity tag make people grow big headed.”
Asked how he was feeling after being discharged and how he was managing to fend for his family since he used to rely on proceedings from live shows, First Farai said he was recovering well.
“Well, my condition is now stable,” he said.
“I got seriously ill for three or so days and was admitted for two days at Westview Clinic Kuwadzana and I can now do other chores I used to do before. The situation is being monitored by the doctors. I am happy that I have found my feet again and I will continue to adhere to the medication.
“To those who have been saying it could have been Covid-19, I would like to say it’s a big NO to make that suggestions. I am one person who was vaccinated and I got my two jabs.
“If I had Covid-19, I would not hide it because it is now manageable plus as a celebrity I needed to give hope to others who are battling it or those who will contract it in future that it can me managed.”
First Farai told this publication that his recent illness came as a lesson that there was power in networking as well as having a fall back position.
“To be honest, Covid-19 has taught us to be innovative as well as keeping good relations with others because we don’t know how it will end,” he said.
“We might be famous, but there is time where your family won’t eat your fame as is the case right now. I have also learnt that we don’t need to lay our eggs in one basket because when the going gets tough, kids will always want to be fed.
“In my case, my youngest kid is in Grade Two who doesn’t understand what’s going on. As a reference, people used to laugh at me when it was reported that I was a cross border trader, but my family was living on that.
“At the moment, I just sell anything that brings money as long it is not illegal. I’m glad that I get medical assistance from Dr Marisa who has been there for me and I don’t know how thank him.”
First Farai, who owns a plot in Mhangura and fronts a 11-piece band, said he has since given the band members the green light to do other side jobs.
“To be honest, we don’t know when our industry will be opened and its now two years after it was shut,” he said. “So, for me to say I will look after them it’s a lie. I have advised them to try other things because we are not sure if normalcy will prevail.
“In my case, I am a farmer at Fox Farm in Mhangura, but this year I didn’t do well due to lack of inputs.”
Despite the challenges he faces, the Hurudza Express boss said he would not stop recording new stuff.
“I have since released my 19th album titled “Hurudza Haivhunduke Zhizha”,” he said.
“The six-track album was recorded at Trutone Studios. It carries six tracks namely Chivanhu Hachitizike, Ndachinja Munamato, Vana Muzvina Pembe, Muchengeti, Ndenewe Muhana and Kudanana Neakasviba Moyo.
“I am now working on its visuals and resources permitting, I will release more videos.”
Besides the forth-coming 19th album, First Farai boasts of a rich catalogue of albums.
These comprise Dzinodhonza released in 2019, Chandengenda – Earthquake, Zvandakuitirai Izvi (2002), Zvipo Netariro (2003), Maximum Voltage (2005), Tiritose Mundima Machinda (2006), Mbanga Mbanga (2007/8), Ngingo Ngingo (2009), Dinga Tinga Experience (2010), Huhwada Experience (2011), Pahasha Love Market (2013) and Mukonon’ono released in 2015.
First Farai’s wife Liliosa Kaputa said it has been a tough time for the family, but they thank God that he is recovering.
She has been rallying behind her husband with intentions to venture into music.
“I have been looking after him ever since he got ill,” she said.
“We were really scared as a family because when the family head is unwell it can spell doom for the family. We are glad he has been discharged, but we will continue following the doctors’ advice until we win this battle.”
The couple is blessed with three children — Kirk, Kayla and Kiara.
In other news,
Another Underaged Girl (13) Forced Into Marriage!
An Eastview woman has forced her 13-year-old daughter into marriage after catching her having mjolo.
The 46-year-old mother of seven girls has since received lobola for her Grade Seven daughter from Munyaradzi Gwari, 20, after she found them having mjolo last week.
The issue came to light after the girl ran…Learn More