Thousands honour Sam Mtukudzi

HARARE - Thousands of music fans thronged Norton-based Pakare Paye Arts Centre in honour of Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi ’son, Sam, who perished in an accident in March 2010.

Scores of Norton youngsters made a killing after creating makeshift parking spaces along all roads surrounding and near Pakare Paye.  The youngsters charged between two and three dollars per car.

One vendor Daniel Toro, who frequents the venue, told the Daily News on Sunday that the Friday crowd was the biggest to date since the venue was set up by Tuku 13 years ago.

Given the congestion inside the venue as well the brisk business enjoyed by the numerous selling points that sold beer and food, Toro’s estimate was probably not far from accurate. So crowded was the place that the revellers found it difficult to move from one place to another.

But in the end the big crowd that turned up got fair value for the $10 they had paid to gain entrance. The impressive line-up of performers that included Suluman Chimbetu, Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso and Gary Tight gave it their all.

With Suluman, Jah Prayzah, Macheso and Tuku on the bill, the huge crowd found it difficult to accept that Gary, who was assisted by Pakare Paye product Ashton Nyaora, was the headline performer on the night.

Despite some initial resistance, he crowd later warmed up to the late Sam’s songs that were ably performed by Gary and Ashton. The highlight of Gary’s slot was his performance of the song “Amai.” It was pure class.

Tuku’s cameo appearances during Gary and Ashton’s performances, helped win over the animated crowd that was impatient to see the big guns go on stage.

After the headline act of the night, the crowd ecstatically welcomed Tuku whose slot featured old hits like Mutavara and Shanje.The highlight of the music superstar’s presentation was the surprise appearance of ex-Black Spirits member Picky Kasamba. The crowd went wild with excitement when Tuku and Picky recreated on stage some dance moves that made them household names. The excitement in the crowd went a gear up, when Sulu and Kapfupi also joined Tuku on stage.

After Tuku, Suluman was the next on stage and he performed songs that resonated with the theme of the event. The core of his playlist was made up songs like Ndarangarira Gamba, Rokwe and Shura Regore Riya which all revolve around death.

AS expected Jah Prayzah’s performance was among the highpoints of the night. By public demand, he performed crowd favourites Jerusarema, Hello, Ndoenda, Tiise Maoko, Chinamira , Eriza and Musombodia.

The honour of closing the event belonged to sungura music Alick Macheso. Predictably, Macheso sampled a few songs off long-awaited 10th album Tsoka Dzerwendo that will released onto the market tomorrow.

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