Mukanya delivers scintillating bira

HARARE - Music fans who attended music legend Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo’s homecoming show at Glamis Stadium on Saturday night got to see first hand why the Chimurenga icon is invariably called the “Lion of Zimbabwe” and “Hurricane Hugo.”

Mukanya, 72, who was performing in Zimbabwe for the first time in 14 years, delivered a four-hour concert at the Glamis Arena that belied his advanced age.

The thousands that turned up for the bira — arguably one of the biggest music concerts in Zimbabwe in recent years — must have infused some energy and zest into the veteran musician who only found the courage to return to his homeland on Independence Day thanks to the military intervention that booted out his nemesis former president Robert Mugabe last November.

Clad in swanky all-black attire, Mukanya, who was backed by an 18-men ensemble that included his biographer and friend Banning Eyre, went on stage just after 2am and introduced his set with the old hit Joyce.

There was total delirium as the big crowd responded after the music star had given an emotional greeting.

After the 1987 hit Joyce, Mapfumo then belted out Chikonzero, Bhutsu Mutandarika and Pidigori in quick succession eliciting raucous cheer from the bumper crowd that, not surprisingly, had a big number of senior citizens.

Mukanya’s well-received presentation was dominated by old hits such as Hwahwa, Zvichapera, Chipatapata, Chiruzevha Chapera, Gwindingwi Rine Shumba, Chamunorwa, Mukadzi Wamukoma, Ngoma Yekwedu, Shebeen and Mugarandega on which Mapfumo did the chant in English previously done by the late Tobias Areketa.

The standout moment of the show was when he performed the song Chauya Chauya which was recently leaked onto the black market.

In the song, Mukanya exhorts Zimbabweans to make the most of the forthcoming harmonised elections set to take place within the next few months.

So popular was the song that he had to perform it twice. Not surprisingly, Chauya Chauya had become the song of choice by the end of the night.

Many were playing the pirated version of the song as they drove away from the venue.

Another highlight of the concert organised by Entertainment Republic was when music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi joined Mukanya on stage as he was performing the club banger Nyoka Musango.

The crowd wildly cheered as the two music legends danced in unison on stage.

It was a dream-like moment for many in the big crowd who have been made to believe over the years that there is bad blood between Tuku and Mukanya.

Earlier in the night Tuku had delivered a great set that featured his old friend Picky Kasamba.

When Tuku performed the hit Bvuma, which many associate with former president Mugabe, many in crowd could be heard calling out the deposed leader’s name.

Other artistes who performed on the night were Dendera star Suluman Chimbetu who delighted music fans with a playlist packed with his late father Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu’s songs.

Gary Tight, who was joined by Tuku as he was performing his recent duet with the music superstar called Ndizarurire, and Diana Mangwenya Samukange also gave good accounts of themselves.

Rising star Andy Muridzo surprisingly did not perform even though he was on the bill.

Comments (1)

Tribute& enough respect to Dr Thomas Mapfumo ,the Lion of Zimbabwe who came back to Zim to conquer,reign & not bow to anyone.

Dr Gongomwanawechirombo - 4 May 2018

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