Mafikizolo dazzles at Lockdown Concert

HARARE - Filling up the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) has proved to be a tall order of late but not for Friday night’s tantalising bill powered by Mafikizolo, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi and Jah Prayzah.

Despite the rather steep admission fee-$15 for the standard ticket and $25 for the VIP one-and the heavy downpour that preceded the gig, thousands of music fans thronged the annual concert dubbed ‘Harare Lockdown Concert.’

Not even the counter-attraction posed by the rival Shutdown gig featuring dendera star Suluman Chimbetu and zimdancehall artistes Soul Jah Love, Shinsoman and DJ Cables at Ice and Fire Pamuzinda could stop Simmad Entertainment director Simba Madziva from smiling all the way to the bank.

As expected, Mafikizolo lived up to its top billing with a performance full of energy and class. The Afro-pop duo from South Africa more than compensated for playing without a live band by delivering a well-choreographed presentation that left the big crowd asking for more. Their energetic dance moves got the audience on their feet throughout their hour-and-half long presence on stage. The delightful duo, which was backed by four talented dancers, sure knows how to rock and work up a crowd.

They performed their old classics like ‘Ndihamba Nawe’ and ‘Emlanjeni’ as well as hits from their latest album ‘Reunited’ including ‘Khona,’ ‘Happiness’ and ‘Tchelete (Happiness)’-their collaboration with Nigerian music star Davido.

No prize for guessing that the international hit ‘Khona’ was the pinnacle of their alluring performance. The dancing and the sing-along became more frenzied and passionate when ‘Khona’ was unleashed.

While Mafikizolo were clearly the favourite on the night, they were given stiff competition by music superstar Mtukudzi and local crowd-puller Jah Prayzah. Tuku, who celebrated his 63rd birthday and marked 40 years in music this year, was the second performer on the night.

Despite his advanced age, the Zimbabwean music legend clearly demonstrated to the big crowd that his often reported health challenges are over-exaggerated. The granddad of Zimbabwean music can still pack musical punch and still has the power to rock a crowd.

As has become the norm these days, Tuku performed with a pared-down band. The instrumentalists at his disposal on the night were Sam Mataure on drums, bassist Enoch Piroro and keyboardist Munyaradzi Vhiya.

When the veteran musician came on stage, the bulk of the music fans in the VIP section rushed close to the stage where they passionately cheered on as Tuku unleashed a playlist with both old and new songs.

The energetic and well-choreographed performance by Tuku was a clear reminder that he still has what it takes to excite music fans at the highest level.

Though Tuku clearly showed that he is still the king of the kraal, there was enough evidence from Jah Prayzah’s performance on the night to show that he is a serious contender for the ‘Bvuma’ singer’s crown.

Dressed in his usual military fatigue, Jah Prayzah sent the crowd wild with excitement as he dropped hit after hit mainly from the album Tsviriyo and his latest offering Jerusarema. His most popular hits on the night included ‘Mwanasikana,’ ‘Tsviriyo,’ ‘Tiise Maoko,’ ‘Eriza,’ ‘Chinamira’ and ‘Jerusarema.’

Perhaps due to the fact that he is launching the DVD of his latest album Jerusarema at Ster-Kinekor Eastgate tonight, Jah Prayzah’s performance was uncharacteristically short.

The lively show obviously presented Jah Prayzah with a befitting dress rehearsal for the Jerusarema DVD launch where fans will part with a whopping $30 entry fee.

For the second year running, rising star Alexio Kawara was part of the Harare Lockdown Concert and he showed why the concert organisers kept faith in him with an opening performance that set the stage for an exciting night of music and dance. He performed popular tracks such as Kana, Zvaa Zvinhu and Amai as well as a couple of new songs.

The highlight of Kawara’s show was when he played the late James Chimombe’s hits Muchiti Mugere and Zvaitika, the late Paul Mpofu’s Murambinda and chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo’s Vanhu Vatema. The performance of the old hits jolted music fans out of their seats and the dance floor became a hive of activity.

While Mafikizolo, Tuku, Jah Prayzah and Kawara won the hearts of the fans, the same could not be said of Zambian singer Roberto. The crowd’s lack of knowledge of his songs proved to be his undoing. Apart from his hit ‘Amarula,’ the crowd was not familiar with the rest of the songs on his playlist.

Despite a spirited attempt to put up a good show, the Zambian just could not win over the fans. A few missiles were thrown onto the stage as some impatient fans wanted to hasten his exit.

Comments (1)

Wake up Zim govt....support your own artists, instead of VEVAMWE

Help Us - 27 December 2015

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