Jah Prayzah: the new sheriff in town

HARARE - Music star Jah Prayzah’s status as the current favourite of local music fans was clearly evident on Sunday at Extra Mile Leisure Spot in Harare where he attracted yet again another bumper crowd.

Not even the king of sungura, Alick Macheso, who was also holding a family show on the same day at Club Las Vegas in Southerton, could provide a potent counter-attraction.

The Jerusarema hit-maker, who had filled the Harare International Conference C entre to the rafters with smitten fans the previous weekend, is now in a league of his own. On Sunday Jah Prayzah had the young and the old eating out of his hand.

Predictably, the highlight of his show was when he delivered Kutonga Kwaro-the controversial title track of his latest album. Extra Mile Leisure Spot was turned into one big party as the crowd sang along with gusto. Whether the crowd’s excitement was motivated by the song’s alleged endorsement of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to make it to State House we will never know, but it was without doubt a mind-blowing experience.

Another song off the new album which raised temperatures on the dance floor was Ndini Ndamubata which appears well-positioned to rock parties this forthcoming festive season.

The gig then went a gear up when Jah Prayzah called onto the stage members of his Military Touch Movement label- Andy Muridzo, Tahle Wedzinza, ExQ, Nutty O and DJ Tamuka.

As expected they delivered the fan favourite “Chekeche” much to the delight of the crowd. Thereafter ExQ performed his popular hits Nhema and Bhachura while Nutty O did Chitundu Museresere.

Of all the members of the Military Touch Movement, Andy Muridzo proved to be the most popular on the night. Muridzo was so popular that the crowd refused to let him go off the stage before he and Jah Prayzah could perform their duet-Emma. The two music stars obliged and what a scintillating performance it turned out to be!

After the Emma performance, Muridzo then sang Diamond’ Platnumz’s part on the hit Watora Mari. The Dherira singer seamlessly stepped into the East African star’s shoes, so well that the crowd chanted his name in appreciation.

Though Muridzo and company impressed in their cameo roles, the night, without doubt, belonged to Jah Prayzah who showed once more that he is indeed now the new sheriff in town. The country’s new favourite appears determined to remain perched at the top.

While most local musicians are struggling to attract decent crowds and being forced in some cases to downsize, Jah Prayzah is doing the opposite. He recently added a new backing vocalist and a new keyboardist.

The Uzumba-born artiste’s Third Generation Band now includes seven vocalists and dancers, including Jah Prayzah himself as well as seven instrumentalists who include two keyboardists.

Jah Prayzah’s manager- Keen Mushapaidze- told the Daily News on the sidelines of the concert that the new additions have been brought in to take the group’s sound to new heights.

“The new vocalist for example offers something new and because of that she will help broaden the vocal range in the band,” Mushapaidze said.

Though Jah Prayzah’s show was largely a great one, it wasn’t without its downsides.  The show was meant to be family show but it only got underway well after 4pm, two hours after the advertised time. The show’s curtain-raiser, Mbeu and the Mhodzi Tribe performed first with Jah Prayzah going on stage around 6pm.

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