Picture this. You are a young man, energetic, enterprising with fantastic aspirations and before your career path shapes up, all hell breaks loose.Your father, the family’s sole breadwinner dies and your future is doomed.
Young Wilberforce Maruma, aka DJ Thunder, went through such a painful experience at a tender age when his father William Maruma died in 1997. Born on June 27 1985, Maruma is the last of two children born to William Maruma. William used to dance for Oliver Mtukudzi in the ’80s before he joined Titus Tendaupenyu’s Rising Power Band and produced popular track, Furuwa.
William died in 1997 leaving his wife and children in Glendale in utter poverty. As a result, his mother failed to raise examination fees for his “O” Level examinations, forcing him to drop out of school. But Maruma did not give up. He ventured into various self-help projects to sustain his family members.
“I did graphic designing, advertising and disk jockeying and IT, all informally,” said Maruma. “It has not been easy since I cannot get into a formal job despite my skills. I have tried to engage various new broadcasters, but it has failed because I have no academic qualifications.”
Currently, the resident DJ at the City Sports Bar, Maruma speaks six African languages namely Shona, Ndebele, Nyungwe (Chikunda), Swahili, Nyanja and Nambya. He is also fluent in English and Portuguese. “I got to learn these many languages while I was in secondary school at Chindunduma High 2,” he said.
“Near the school there was a Ponesai Vanhu Development Aid from People to People, which enrolled people from different countries and that is how I learnt all the languages.” During Freddy Gwala’s last visit, the Amadhamara singer spotted the ambitious DJ and promised to help the him get a job in South Africa.
“I told him my story and it touched him and he offered to help. He will be in the country either later this month or in July and I hope something will have materialised. “We communicate regularly and he wants to link me up with television and radio stations in South Africa.”
For Maruma, the sky is the limit and he feels it is just a matter of time before his life gets on track. He has played at various Harare joints including Sports Diner, Taste of Africa, Chelsea Bar, KFC, Ximex Bar & Grill and Elite, just to mention a few. He has also worked with Busi Ncube and the late Andy Brown