Remembering Katarina
8 April 2022
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By Reuben Yuda

Born Elizabeth Taderera
Residence Zimbabwe
Known for Music, Comedian , Club HideOut 99 Resident Performances
Notable work Katarina and Mukadota

Mukadota na Katarina
If one is looking for an example of the stage prowess of Katarina, Safirio “Mukadota” Madzikatire’s livewire stage lieutenant, a simple search on YouTube is enough.

Upon typing the words Mukadota and Katarina, one quickly finds out from the number of views the video has accumulated that several thousand have also travelled the same road down memory lane, no doubt also searching for the legend of Katarina (born Elizabeth Taderera).

Many a youngster would have heard their elders recall with fondness the exploits of the light skinned beauty with a Colgate smile and a glowing red lipstick to match. A grainy old video is the only evidence one has that the wizened old heads had every right to be mesmerised back in their day.

The clip finds both Mukadota and Katarina in exemplary form. Mukadota, partly bald and decked out in a dazzling blue and black outfit, was no doubt the leader of his band.

However, whenever Katarina’s moment to shine came, he never hesitated to withdraw and let his trusted lieutenant lead the forces. And lead she did. When Katarina danced, it seemed like her provocative and rhythmic stomps dictated how the band behind her played and not the other way round.

She seemed to dictate the tune. On stage she was an enticing mass of swinging flesh, crowned by a smile that seemed permanently stitched to her face. Embroidered to show how much she loved her craft.

Only a jealous or scorned lover would deny that Katarina assumed a python-like grip on men when those hips of hers started swinging.

A seductive temptress yet laden with respect for her female form. The name of her dances were as interesting as the woman who invented them and on stage she would roll them out one by one; methodically.One was called ZESA, no doubt when the country’s power utility was still consistent and reliable, while another was called Tiger Fish.

When she was stomping on stage, all of these weirdly named dances would make sense. On that stage Elizabeth Taderera, her real name, would die.Over the course of a few minutes, Katarina, face drenched with sweat and her chest heaving, would be born.

During Mukadota’s shows, Katarina was the trump card and one could argue that she was an attraction that could have prospered on her own had she left the safety of Mukadota’s nest. The two were an irresistible combination with a proven track record and a reasonable number of hits.

Songs like “KwaHunyani”, “Ndichatenga Yangu” and “Usandisiye” showed that they could easily take and transport their hilarious and electric chemistry from the stage to the studio.

While Mukadota, a man blessed with the ability to crack a Zimbabwean’s ribs almost at will, is a legend that will never to be forgotten, Katarina is very often a footnote that pops up when his career is mentioned.

In her later years, when the fame and fortune of showbiz had deserted years after Mukadota’s death, she made a living as a waiter before also following her beloved Dickson, Mukadota’s persona, to the afterlife. It was an unceremonious end to a life that had, during its prime, given Zimbabweans a taste of pure stage wizardry.

Katarina was that rare breed of woman that comes along once in a while in Zimbabwean showbiz. An electric female performer who is fully aware of her seductive qualities.

Credit : @Pindula