• “Chando Chinouraya” set to a picture of the housing album.
“All-time classic Africana from Zimbabwe”
Picked this one up on Harare Hit Parade 4: 1985-87, a compilation which has been around since 2007 and has recently been re-blogged at Electric Jive. The track originally featured on the group’s LP “J.J.B. Style” (Kumusha KSALP-112, 1986).
The Jairos Jiri Band were representatives of Jairos Jiri, the Disabled Musicians’ Society. They were led by Paul Matavire, who was a social worker, and had been left blind by glaucoma as a child. Matavire was often labelled “the Stevie Wonder of Zimbabwe” by fans and commentators. Halfway through this song he humorously describes himself as “a different character with different characteristics”.
Wikipedia tells the interesting background of Jairos Jiri himself:
Jairos Jiri (1921-1982) was born in the Mutenyami Village in Bikita, Masvingo, close to Chitsanga Primary School. He was a philanthropist. In the early days of his childhood he had a dream of helping the disabled people. He started creating facilities in the 1940s for disadvantaged and disabled people in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, using Christian principles of charity, patience and non-judgmental tolerance. The Jairos Jiri Association was founded in Bulawayo in 1950. The art centre outlet for the association quickly achieved prominence and by the 1960s was a prime source of curios for tourists. These items were made by disabled people and included tiles and tiled tables and wall plaques, carvings, pottery, painted artworks and sculptures. His rehabilitation centre in Bulawayo also fostered music and dance. By 1974 the centres had expanded and diversified to include homes for the disabled, and legal representation was gained locally and in the United Kingdom. Jairos Jiri centres and his philosophy are still a major resource for community action and charity in Zimbabwe.