HARARE - Hundreds of ecstatic fans attended the launch of sungura kingpin Alick Macheso’s 10th album Tsoka Dzerwendo (Ayayaa) at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Thursday night.
The fact that the sungura star last released an album four years ago, was probably the key reason why Macheso and partners — Jive Zimbabwe, Nash Paints and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society(ZRCS) — opted for the giant HICC.
But in the end, filling up the venue proved a bridge too far.
The fairly big crowd that turned up was entertained by a motley performers that included Zimdancehall artistes Killer T and Soul Jah Love, urban groovers Trevor Dongo and Extra Large as well as the impressive Bryan Kadengu.
Female Zimdancehall artiste Ninja Lipsy was the only artiste on the night who disappointed in a big way.
Her raunchy and sexually suggestive antics on stage attracted the ire of the crowd. She was booed off the stage partly because the crowd was now impatient to see Macheso on stage.
When Extra Basso, as Macheso is known by his fans, hit the stage, a wave of excitement swept through the venue.
The bassist-cum-vocalist first performed songs off his just-released album before signing off his electric presentation with some popular hits gleaned from his nine other albums.
Macheso’s performance, which started around midnight, ended in the early hours of yesterday.
Despite the musician’s splendid performance, his exclusion of sungura artistes from the list of performers who entertained the crowd on the night disappointed some music fans.
Given Extra Basso’s status as sungura music’s leading light, many expected him to feature several upcoming artists in the genre.
On Wednesday, Orchestra Mberikwazvo manager Lucky Macheso rather strangely defended the decision to exclude fellow sungura artistes from performing at the launch.
“We are the only sungura group that will perform at the event. We have invited Killer T, Ninja Lipsy, Hope Masike, Extra Large and Tererai Mugwadi to support us. Orchestra Mberikwazvo should be the centre of attraction during the launch that is why we didn’t include other sungura groups,” he said.
Despite being given a cold shoulder by Macheso, several sungura artistes, who included Suluman Chimbetu, Peter Moyo and Tendai Dembo, still turned up
Were it not for businessman Philip Chiyangwa who asked Suluman to present a stand to Macheso on his behalf, no sungura artiste would have played a meaningful part at the event. What a pity it would have been.
Perhaps in a bid to show that sungura artistes mean Macheso no harm, Suluman gave the veteran artiste a holiday voucher for two nights at a Nyanga hotel.
One of the highlights of the night was when one Chimhini bought a CD of the six-track Tsoka Dzerwendo (Ayayaa) for $5 000 during the event that was graced by ZRCS national president Edson Mlambo, national police spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba and her husband, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Elvas Mari and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke.