By Vasco Chaya
As the curtain comes down in 2017, Jah Prayzah has been tipped to dominate tonight’s Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50, following the success and popularity of his latest 14-track studio offering Kutonga Kwaro.
With a $2 500 cap, the Coca-Cola Top 50 programme, which will run today from 8.30pm to midnight, provides a better understanding of the trending artistes in Zimbabwe.
Last year veteran musician Leonard Zhakata pocketed a cool $6 000 that was on offer after he grabbed the first three positions.
However, this year, seems to be a different ball game, which might see the Uzumba-born and bred scooping all the top accolades.
A snap survey contacted by the Daily News on Sunday on the streets of Harare yesterday pointed to Jah Prayzah as better placed to lift the crown this year thanks to his hit album Kutonga Kwaro.
“For me Jah Prayzah is the artiste who deserves to be on top position considering that his songs on Kutonga Kwaro are ruling the roost in almost every radio station and in virtually every social and political gatherings,” Loveness Dzapasi, a music fanatic said.
Another music fan Daniel Sese concurred with Dzapasi saying the Jerusarema hit maker is the only artiste who deserves to be crowned the 2017 champion.
“I would not mind if Jah Prayzah tops the end of year Coca-Cola Top 50 because the man worked so hard in 2017 and his songs are being played everywhere in the country and even beyond, especially the song Kutonga Kwaro and Muchinjiko,” Sese said.
The majority of music lovers’ predictions are anchored on the fact that most of the big guns in the music industry have not managed to release new songs this year and these include Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Leonard Zhakata and Oliver Mtukudzi among others.
However, the annual programme sponsors — Coca-Cola — said they will stick to their old way of determining the songs that will make it to the top.
The organisation relies on votes from January till December, which could act as a crippling factor for Jah Prayzah’s chances, owing to the fact that his album was only released in October.
This would mean the popularity of a song does not necessarily translate to its end of year victory.
“2017 was a unique year as Zimbabweans saw a new political leadership in November. Our very talented and Coke Studio 2017 representative, Jah Prayzah, was riding high with his new ‘prophetic’ album — Kutonga Kwaro.
“It was released soon after Coke Studio but before the revolution. From available votes from January and current voting indications so far, he is pushing but may not even be in the top 20.
“We therefore need to prepare the fans by referring them to the format of this very popular programme that ends a year and heralds another one.
“The show uses all weekly SMS votes to come up with the annual chart show,” Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda said.
She added: “The Coca-Cola Top 50 is a reflection of the songs that have been hits throughout the year, from January to December. The Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 starts with Coca-Cola Top 20 which plays every Saturday between 1200hours -1300hours.
“Listeners send their favourite five songs to the number 0778 230 493 in the format: Song#Song#Song#Song#Song#. The songs will be in the respective order, from number one to five.”
“However, our experience shows that when we ask listeners to vote for the top five songs of the year, they tend to forget songs that were released early in the year and focus on current hit songs only.
“So to give all artistes equal opportunities, we combine all the votes an artiste garnered during the top 20 weekly programmes and tally them with the votes sent specifically for top 50. This gives artistes who released their songs in the beginning of the year a chance to be considered.” DailyNews