Sulu brings back Simon's heyday

HARARE - The late dendera music legend Simon Chimbetu once told the Daily News, back in 2001, that he would have a second landing.

This was on the back of a plummeting fan base in Harare, blamed on his unwavering support for Zanu PF.

In other parts of the country he remained a darling and would often have two United Kingdom shows in a year.

Chopper, as he was affectionately known, died on August 14, 2005 leaving a rich legacy in local music.

“When no one likes Chimbetu anymore, tell them to remember the good things that I did,” said Chopper in an interview with a UK-based online publication.

Chimbetu lies peacefully at Chinhoyi Heroes Acre — 115 km from Harare in Mashonaland West Province.

On Friday Suluman who put a virtuoso display during the Vharai Gedhi Concert at Chinhoyi stadium brought back memories of his late father who once described himself as a “critic of foolish politics”.

Suluman, a former member of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, gave the bumper crowd a solid performance which reminded this side of the country of his departed father.

Organised by maverick businessman Phillip Chiyangwa who is eyeing the Chinhoyi Constituency, the Ndomusiya Naani hitmaker marked his birthday with a rousing performance.

“Makadii Chinhoyi? Munoziva here nhasi kuti ibirthday rangu. Ngatifarei uye tichirangarira gamba (Greeting Chinhoyi. Do you know that today is my birthday? Let’s enjoy whilst remembering the hero (Simon Chimbetu),” Suluman addressed the exuberant revellers who crammed the stadium.

He promptly unleashed Ndarangarira Gamba, a heart-moving and soulful hit which pays tribute to fallen heroes.

 It would have been a travesty of justice had he not played Sean Timba (Batai Munhu), especially in the presence of Jah Prayzah.

The dreadlocked Uzumba-raised artiste was one of the star attractions and gave the crowd a scintillating performance.

He made a majestic entry, flanked by Chiyangwa and Suluman.

Jah Prayzah had the crowd feeding from his palms.

The four songs he delivered had the whole stadium in delirium.

Chiyangwa explained the Vharai Gedhi show to the thousands who were in attendance.

“Vharai Gedhi means people of Chinhoyi must have good things including having the opportunity to have musicians such as these at their doorsteps.

“Great things must not be confined to Harare only. So if good things start rolling here, we must remember to shut our gates and keep those good things,” he told the jubilant crowd.

As darkness set in, those who attended the free show left in good spirits.

The majority of them kept talking about Simon Chimbetu.

Maybe it was a fitting honour for the man who lay buried a few kilometres from the venue.

It took his son’s gig before a massive crowd to remind many of the good things he did. - Entertainment Writer

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