Chris Martin dazzles Zim fans

HARARE - For over three hours, thousands of Zimbabweans inside the Glamis Arena were made to forget their problems by Jamaican reggae singer Chris Martin’s performance in the early hours of Saturday morning.

From the very first moment Martin stepped onto the stage at around 1:00am, it was total pandemonium inside the venue as the audience cheered.

Martin did not disappoint as he began his set with his current hit Pirate of the Caribbean which is receiving a lot of airplay.

With the crowd singing along to his lyrics of the song released on Chimney Records’ popular Break Away rhythm, the Jamaican singer made an immediate impact.

Backed by his Jamdonz band, it was apparent that it was going to be a long night of pure joy for the revellers since Martin boasts of a large catalogue of songs.

Martin had really done his homework because a number of Jamaican artistes, who have toured Zimbabwe have been limited by not bringing along a live band.

Part of the crowd at Martin's show in Harare. Pic: Freedom Mashava

But on this occasion, the 29-year-old from the parish of St Catharine knew when to increase the tempo or cool it down with the help of his band and backing vocalists.

The man that the thousands of people had braved the chilly weather to come out and see began dropping his songs.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2005, Martin has developed a reputation as a ladies’ man, and there were deafening screams from the female revellers as he sang songs like Baby I Love You, I’m There, Let her Go, Na Na Na and Paper Loving.

Martin kept the crowd engaged by shouting out a few Shona phrases he had learned since arriving in Harare on Thursday night.

The crowd enjoyed it every moment he shouted, “Tatenda!” (Thank you!) whenever he completed a song.

“I have a very good friend who is named Tinashe so from now on my name is Christopher ‘Tinashe Tatenda’ Martin,” the Jamaican said while on stage.

As his set continued, Martin began to sample some of the famous songs by other Jamaican artistes like Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Beenie Man, Jah Cure and Peter Tosh.

But the time everyone had been waiting for finally arrived when Martin began singing his monstrous hit track Cheaters Prayer.

The song produced by Irie FM deejay ZJ Chrome on his Cardiac Strings rhythm is by far Martin’s most popular track and inevitably received the loudest cheers from the crowd.

Martin performing. Pic: Freedom Mashava

Even when Jamdonz were cueing in the next track they were immediately shot down by their boss.

“Cheaters again! I said Cheaters listen me!” Martin barked to his band members.

For most entertainers, it usually means the show is over when they drop their biggest hit, but Martin continued with his set even after Cheaters Prayer had run its course.

More hits like Reggae Road Block, Under the influence, Mi Friend Dem, I’m A Big Deal, Look On My Face, Watch Me Lord, Mama and Like You Daddy soon followed. Towards the end of his set, Martin really showed his class when he sampled Busy Signal’s track Free Up on the Cold Heart rhythm, a move which totally flattened the venue.

When he moved into his song Indecisive on the same rhythm it was total chaos.

It was the same reaction from the revellers as he dropped his latest single Stepping which he featured Signal.

Martin finally closed his set with his spiritual track Prayer on Rvssian’s Tweety Bird rhythm.

He finally left the stage at around 4am to a din of applause and cheers from the satisfied crowd.

The supporting acts on the bill like Jamaican signer D Major, Ninja Lipsy and Jah Prayzah also put in decent performances. 

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