Dhewa memorial, musicians produce synergies

HARARE - Harare Gardens on Sunday witnessed some fascinating synergies between musicians as they took turns to entertain thousands of music fans who had converged to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Tongai Moyo aka Dhewa.

It is now a year since Dhewa succumbed to cancer.

And what a day it turned out to be with stellar performances by Tongai’s son, Peter and a host of his father’s musician friends.

The first couple, Charles and Olivia put up a polished performance that saw Peter joining them on the song Buruka.

It was an emotional song, and Peter even surprised himself by offering sweet backing vocals to the song.

Interestingly, Dhewa also released a powerful gospel song, Zakeo, a hit with many revellers.

By late afternoon, Sunday the Harare Gardens was already getting swamped by Dhewa fans that had come from across the country.  

A different showcase altogether, the gardens were dominated by mothers and their children who could be seen enjoying themselves in the sun.

First Farai, who has in the past been accused of being a Dhewa copycat showed the style and elegance that was associated with Dhewa.

And from afar you could mistake the bulky musician who resembles everything that Dhewa was, from the dressing to the vocalising.

Zora music star Leonard Zhakata performed in the evening and sent the crowds into some frenzy.
His song, Dzave Ndangariro (only memories) had the whole arena singing in unison as the song turned out to be a tribute to Dhewa.

“We must know why we are all here. We are here to remember a great man, a great composer, Tongai,” said Zhakata in between his performance.

Reggae sensation Jah Prayzah, proved to be a darling among the multitude of fans as he delivered a powerful stage performance.  

Clad in military regalia, as was his band, the star’s performance highlight was when he asked children from the audience to join him on stage so they could exhibit their fancy foot works.
 
The children’s dance slot was one of the popular during Dhewa’s family shows and when Prayzah called them, there was a stampede by the kids — who did not disappoint.

At the end of the musical concert, Peter was joined on stage by Suluman Chimbetu and Somandala Ndebele in a powerful rendition that should have evoked Tongai’s spirit.

Concert organiser, Biggie Chinoperekwei, who attended the musical throughout, thanked the musicians who agreed to take part in the musical jamboree.

“They have honoured their colleague, which to me is the most important thing. As for the music fans who have thronged this venue, words fail me,” said Chinoperekwei.

The event, which was accident-free, proved to be the idle place for family concerts. “I think families are being starved of quality entertainment gigs which are not held in nightclubs.

The attendance here, which is dominated by mothers and children has gone to show one thing: there is a gap for family concerts. We need more concerts held at friendly venues.”

After watching the showcases, I was wondering if Peter was serious when he tried to stop the memorial show be hosted in Harare.

It would have been very strange had Harare failed to remember the man who mesmerised them with his fashionable attire and music.

While he could not be there to see it for himself how unmatched he was while on mother earth, this reporter can confirm that it was not just beer drinkers who loved Dhewa, even children and unborn children could not help but join the show until midnight.

Peter went on to reveal his ambition of singing gospel music after outclassing Fishers of Men’s backing vocalists.

“I want to thank you for supporting me, everything has a starting point, I have never performed a gospel song and this can be a starting point for me,” Peter Moyo told the audience after joining the Charambas in song.

Although his voice is still immature compared to Charamba, the young Igwe managed to fuse into the Fishers of Men perfectly, joining Mai Charamba as a backing vocalist.

Sunday’s show was unlike the Kwekwe memorial which only featured Alick Macheso, Progress Chipfumo and Peter Moyo.

Musicians such as Farai, Daiton Somanje, Tryson Chimbetu as well as David Machowa aka Apama all took time to remember Tongai.

Songs such as Zvinoita Murudo — a popular mix from Dhewa’s album mesmerised fans when performed by First Farai.

The Sunday gig proved that even in death, Dhewa has many fans who continue to give testimony to his wonderful music, performed in typical fashion by well-dressed band members. - Xolisani Ncube

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