Masike shines in Salif Keita Collabo

HARARE - Rising mbira star Hope Masike had a mere 20-minute cameo on stage with Malian music superstar Salif Keita during  Sunday’s Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) closing concert but there is no doubt that it was the highlight of her career.

It is not every day that a fledgling artiste gets to collaborate with an internationally acclaimed music icon in the class of Salif Keita.

The gifted Zimbabwean artiste understood the significance of the moment and made the most of it in spectacular fashion.

Before Masike could do a duet with the great Malian singer, she did a solo performance of her hit song ‘Ndire Ndire’ in a presentation that showcased the depth of her vocal range and her mbira-playing skills.

The performance attracted thunderous crowd that thronged the ZOL Main Stage.

After ‘Ndire Ndire,’ Masike was joined on by the great Malian singer and his equally brilliant backing band. Masike and Keita did a rendition of ‘Yamore’-a song on which the Malian star featured the late Cesaria Evora, a songstress from Cape Verde who died four years ago aged 70.

In the original song Salif Keita sang in Malinke and French while Evora sang in Cape-Verdean Portuguese.

On Sunday night Masike beautifully did the late Evora’s part in almost flawless Portuguese earning applause from the cosmopolitan audience.

Thereafter the duo collaborated on Salif Keita’s popular hit Africa. Masike, who is popularly referred to as mbira princess, added some Shona lyrics to the song which conveniently hit out at the xenophobia that recently ravaged neighbouring South Africa.

Before Salif Keita and Masike lit up the ZOL Main Stage with their collaborations, the former had, as expected delivered another scintillating presentation on the stage he last performed on five years ago.

The great Malian started off with fairly new tracks that the crowd appeared unfamiliar with but when he dropped ‘Africa’ and ‘Je t'aime’ Hifa’s main venue became one big dancing stage. The crowd sang along with the Malian music superstar in a fitting finale to Zimbabwe’s most celebrated arts showcase.

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