LIVING legend, Alick Macheso, didn’t know his father until he was seven.
And, even on that one occasion, when he saw him, his dad tried to kidnap him.
The sungura legend, who turns 55 tomorrow, has opened up, for the first time, amid a stream of tears, about the challenges he faced growing up without a father.
Ironically, his birthday comes in June, which is dubbed Father’s Month.
He had to adopt his mother’s surname.
His father, Hardson Maenela, deserted the family when his mother was only three months pregnant.
When he was seven, his father returned and even tried to kidnap him.
This issue, of absentee fathers, has not only created some of the best music in his career but it still haunts him.
He ended up penning some of the touching songs, especially Baba and Mundikumbuke, which are pregnant with emotions.
Unlike his children, who have had a father to guide them in life, Macheso never had that privileged.
The only fatherly love he knows is from reading books and watching movies.
“My father was never present in my life, he left when my mother was three months pregnant with me.
“I was raised by my mother’s family because of some circumstances that were beyond my mother’s control,” said Macheso, with teary eyes.
He gets emotional each time he thinks about him.
“Whenever I perform the song, I don’t know how to control my tears ndopedzisira ndafuratira stage. I always get emotional each time I play the song,” he said
Baba Sharo revealed that when he was seven-years-old, his father once tried to kidnap him.
“The first time I saw my father was when I was seven.
“On this day, I was playing football at the compound when he came and asked me to follow him.
“I had to call my uncle.
“He wanted to lure me with sweets while he was hiding in the maize field close to our compound.
“When it got to my uncle’s attention, murume mukuru akamhanya zvekuti akaparadza chibage kunge Combine Harvester and he was never seen again.
“The last time we heard about him, he was staying in the Tanda area in Rusape.
“He once wrote a letter to us, but it was misplaced since we were hopping from one area to the other.”
The man who grew up without a father will tomorrow celebrate his 55th birthday in the company of his two sons – Esau and Tatenda – at Tanza Centre in Chitungwiza.