Midlands group wins Chibuku Road to Fame

HARARE - The Travellers, an upcoming Afro-fusion band from the Midlands, landed the $7 000 first prize after beating nine other provincial champions at the 2017 Chibuku Road to Fame national finals held at the Glamis Arena in Harare on Saturday.

As part of the package for winning the first prize, the sponsors of the competition-Delta Beverages will finance the recording of The Travellers’ debut album.

The Midlands champions, led by Tafadzwa Mapaso, beat the talented African Tribe from Bulawayo into second place.

For being the first runner-up, African Tribe, whose Afro-fusion brand of music is dominated by a distinctive chimurenga lead guitar, walked away with $5 000.

The $3 000 third prize was pocketed by another Afro-fusion group — Knight Sounds from Mashonaland Central led by Joshua Boyizi.

Crowd favourites Tshitshi Super Sounds from Matabeleland South fell by the way side despite delighting the crowd with scintillating choreography and fast-paced vocals. Tshitshi Super Sounds, whose drummer Zenzele Bhebhe was the lead vocalist, was clearly the most popular band on the day.

Another group that surprisingly failed to make it into the top three despite delivering arguably the most professional performance was Kweseka Matabeleland North.

The Victoria Falls band is clearly influenced by internationally-acclaimed  Mokoomba which hails from the same town.

Other groups that took part in the 2017 edition of Zimbabwe’s most prestigious music talent search competition included Olama Hearts (Harare), Tunes of Harmony(Manicaland), Uzumba Express (Mashonaland East), Black Omolo (Masvingo) and Grade 2 D (Mashonaland West).

The Chibuku Road to Fame, sponsored by Delta Beverages through their Chibuku brand, was launched on October 27, 2001 as a musical showcase to identify musical talent.

The main objective behind the talent identification competition is to afford aspiring musicians an opportunity to interact with established musicians as well as assist them to record their work, thus contributing to the development of the music industry in the country whilst they entertain the Chibuku consumers.

Sungura artiste Romeo Gasa is debatably the most visible product of Chibuku Road to Fame since the music contest was founded.

Gasa, who won the 2007 edition of Chibuku Road to Fame, has urged  Chibuku Road to Fame winners to make the most of the opportunity.

“Most of the talented musical groups that graduated from Chibuku Road to Fame failed to make it big in the local music industry because they failed to agree on how to share the prize money.

“I urge all participants to remain loyal to the group and to look at the bigger picture beyond the prize money,” Gasa said, adding:

“The music industry in general demands dedication and perseverance and for that reason participating bands should appreciate that they will only succeed by persevering despite challenges.”

Ever since he won the Chibuku Road to Fame in 2007, Gasa has released fairly successful albums which include Tichakunda, Compressor, Rufaro Kwamuri, Simbi Hombe, Mupedza Nyaya and Bhoo Zvekuti.

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