Biggie was bron Rodwell Marasha outside of the capital Harare. A son of a traditional priestess, he was raised by Catholic priests during his childhood. As a teenager, he was a "bhundu boy" during the liberation war; that is, he
was an underage runners for the soldiers.
Biggie Tembo achieved fame as the charismatic lead singer of the Bhundu Boys. Formed in 1981 and named in tribute to these liberation hereoes he had worked for, the Bhudus quickly rose to the top of the Zimbabwean music scene. After four number one hits between 81 and 84, the group caught the ears of foreign DJs. Biggie and the band decided to move to the UK in search of international exposure and further success. Despite a an inititally warm reception, the Bhundu's failed to live up to their hype and the band fell into musical decline and promotional obscurity.
After full-fledged international success failed to materialize, the group began to splinter as internal conflicts arose. These clashes culminated in 1990, when the Bhundus asked Biggie to leave the band. He stayed on with Island Records to record Skin, a collaboration album with British band Startled Insects.
In 1992 Tembo re-emerged with his debut solo album, backed by the Ocean City Band (James Chimombe's former group). Out of Africa received decent reviews from foreign press but unfortunately the album wasn't a commercial success. Some felt his music had drifted too far from the original Bhundu Boys sound that gripped and envigorated audiences across the globe. Tembo next career move was into the comedic spectrum. He developed a musical-comedy show that failed miserably during its short run in the UK. Foollowing repeated failures, Tembo snapped. Tragedy struck in 1995 when Tembo hanged himself. Some reports have reported that he was a patient in a mental hospital at the time of his hanging.