One of the stars of Zimbabwe's sungura scene, John Chibadura's beautiful mix of reggae and jit ensured that he would remain a success for decades. Growing up herding goats for his father,
John became a truck driver after leaving school. Moving to Harare in 1980 proved to be his inspiration, as soon after seeing local acts play in bars John decided to try his hand at music.
A Sungura Boys alumnus, Chibadura eventually started his own band and immediately hit the charts with his first single Upenyu Hwandinetsa. Backed by the Tembo Brothers band, he scored more hits in 1983, and his albums Mudzimo Wangu (1985), 5000$ Kuroora (1986), and Sara Ugarike (1987) all went gold. 1988's reggae masterpiece Zuva Refuka Kwangu turned out to be an absolutely massive hit and has been his most successful release. Chibadura joined Zimbabwe's ever-growing foreign legion in the late 80s as he toured the UK. Despite his success, John remained in Zimbabwe.
At the time of his death in 1999, Chibadura had released 25 gold albums. Known as "Mr. Chitungwiza", John's popularity spanned all of Southern Africa, including Malawi, Botswana, and South Africa. Chibadura remains one of Zimbabwe's most popular musicians and his presence will be sorely missed. John is well-served by four compilations.