The most iconic one hit wonders of Zimbabwe

The most iconic one hit wonders of Zimbabwe
Pah Chihera

The Zimbabwean music industry has a lot of legends who have stood the test of time, but on the other hand, we also have a lot of one-hit-wonders, who are forgotten as soon as their hit song fades into extinction

We have those artists who storm onto the music scene with a smash hit, only to disappear as soon as they arrive. Some of these one-hit wonders continue making music for years but never manage to produce another successful song. 

Others leave the industry altogether after their mega-hits, cashing in their earnings and quitting the industry. Some of these musicians have released recordings before their big hits, but their lesser-known tracks garnered little or no attention. 

For others, the songs that made them famous were their first releases. What’s important in defining a one-hit wonder is that whatever else they did, nothing came close to achieving the success, charts-wise or in the minds of their fans, as that one career-defining hit. 

In celebration of our beloved “one and done” artists, we rounded up a list of the most iconic one-hit wonders of Zimbabwe.

1. Tia- Boy you got to know

This Rnb sensation born Portia Njazi burst onto the scene in 2003 with her hit video "Boy You Got to Know" that was produced by the late Fortune "McDaddy" Mparutsa.
The video featured renowned actor Arnold Tongai Chirisa who is now based in Hollywood. Its release was at the advent of urban grooves music and it made waves on continental music channels Channel O and MTV Base, making Tia recognisable beyond Zimbabwean borders. “Boy You Got to Know” was played on rotation on every local radio station almost every hour. It was an anthem! After this single, Tia dropped more music but unfortunately it could not match up to the standards "Boy you got to know" had set.

2. Thornhill Boys- Usacheme

Speaking of the year 2003, another music outfit, Thornhill Boys released a single track that rocked airwaves getting sizeable airplay on the local radio stations. The song was accompanied by a video which topped charts that year. This is one of the most versatile groups from Chitungwiza. Their track Usacheme is among urban grooves music’s all-time hits. Having recorded their only song, they took a back seat, prompting critics to label them as one-hit wonders.

3. Henry Olonga- Our Zimbabwe.

Olonga, a former Plumtree High pupil who retired from cricket 16 years ago, rose to fame as a musician after he released a soulful track titled "Our Zimbabwe" that became very popular. He penned a gem, roused a nation and then, bloop. Gone. After that, with that voice, we heard nothing. It didn’t help that he left the country and never really reconnected

4. Betty Makaya- Kurwizi

Betty was the woman of the moment around the early 2000s, as a result of her love song “Kurwizi”. Most people do not know that “Kurwizi” was originally Jamal’s song and Betty Makaya just featured in this song. She overshadowed the owner of the song with her angelic voice that took Zimbabweans by storm. The song was a favourite to many, regardless of the age of the listener. She even won two awards as a result of the success of “Kurwizi”.   Since then, she has been unable to replicate the success of this single.

5. Pah Chihera- Runonzi rudo

The afro-contemporary songbird is popularly known for her song “Runonzi rudo”, which she featured her late uncle Prince Musarurwa. “Runonzi rudo” was a romantic ballad that blew the minds of love birds when it aired. This song became a favourite for many Zimbabweans once it dropped. So much so that even to date some people even have it on their favourite playlists, while others still request for it to be played for their loved ones on the radio. It’s so sad to note that Pah Chihera was not able to match or surpass the standard that she set with this song. All her songs done after “Runonzi rudo” have been a flop as compared to this hit song. 

6. Ras Caleb


At a time when the Zimdancehall genre was at its peak with up-tempo hits dropping, a new voice would emerge from Masvingo to disrupt with scintillating jam syrup. Caleb Tareka released “Tokwe-Mukosi”, a song that moved and touched the hearts of many at a time of the flooding disaster in the area the song is named after. The unique sounding reggae artist stayed in the game long but his music didn’t. Whatever went wrong boggles the mind considering his great talent.

7. Boom Betto- Munodonhedza musika

This Zimdancehall sensation is well-known for his song “Munodonhedza musika”.  This 2016 hit single topped the charts. The popularity of this song elevated when controversies surrounding the meaning of the song worsened. “Kudonhedza musika” became the new slang on the streets, and the phrase relates to a lady with curves in all the right places. Boom Beto seems to have gone mute after the release of this single. Either that or he is experiencing a “creativity block”.