Tuku graces Hifa opening show

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi’s cameo in the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) opening show on Tuesday night was a pleasant surprise for the packed Telecel Main Stage.

Tuku, who does not have any Hifa concert this year, sent fans into delirium when he sauntered onto the stage singing the popular classic Perekedza Mwana with Ammara Brown providing the backing vocals.

The legendary superstar’s well-received fleeting appearance was one of the high points of the opening show that was full of music, dance, visuals and scintillating gymnastics. 

But Tuku was not the only local star who won applause from the bumper crowd.

The Cool Crooners, a band of Bulawayo-based granddads of Township jazz who entered the music in the 1950’s, received an equally deafening appreciation from the fans who were dazzled by their fancy foot work on the dance floor.

The opening show, held under the theme “Light Up The Darkness”, was also a special night for Afrofolk queen Netsayi Chigwendere who gave a lively performance of her hit song Kumagobo with the able support of her backing group, The Black Pressure.

The opening show, which was in part inspired by the late Doris Lessing’s story, The Sun between Their Feet, also showcased the artistry of Tumbuka dancers, Zimbabwe’s Drum Café, Barefeet Theatre Zambia and South African jazz pianist Kyle shepherd who was assisted by several artistes from Zimbabwe and across the Limpopo.

Prominent South Africa-based Jazz star Steve Dyer provided the musical components of the show while Brooke Ciardelli, a multiple award-winning theatre director, was the overall director of the colourful show.

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