SOUTH African legendary Zumba music chanter Freddy Gwala is expected in Zimbabwe this month-end for two shows in Harare. Gwala last came into the country in 2009 for a show with the dance ensemble Amavhitakazi, during which they thrilled fans at a highly subscribed event.
This time around the “Amadamara” hitmaker will share the stage with Jah Prayzah at Holly’s Hotel on March 30. The following day, April 1, the South African musician will engage the granddad of katekwe music — Oliver Mtukudzi — in what promises to be a “clash of the titans” at Richwood Park for a family show.
Show promoter Biggie Chinoperekwei confirmed the development and said they had since started preparing for the shows.
“We have realised that Freddy has got a huge following on this side of town and we would want them to enjoy his music when he returns to Harare for shows with Oliver Mtukudzi and Jah Prayzah” he said.
Jah Prayzah, of the “Gochi Gochi” fame, who put up a sterling performance at the 21st February Gala in Chipinge earlier this month, will certainly charm revellers with his versatility.
The 24-year-old will bring his contemporary music, before Gwala serenades patrons with his self-created “Zumba” music which is a fusion of soul and disco at Holly’s.
Gwala, an ex-convict who spent eight years behind bars, drew much of his inspiration from the incarceration with songs like “Ngixoleleni” in which he begs for forgiveness from his parents who were hard done by his arrest.
He rose to stardom in the early 1990s when he released his first album “Amadamara 1”, though his big break came when he released his fourth album titled “Amadamara 4”, which went gold in 1994, and back then Amadamara transcended cultures and borders like Leonard Zhakata’s “Zora music”.
Gwala began the long music sojourn in 1973, after forming the group Pure Gold. An astonishing songwriter, Gwala has more than 12 albums to his name. The show will be a trip down memory lane for Gwala’s legion of fans, who have danced in good and bad times to the velvet smooth voice of the man who is living proof that there is indeed life after prison.
He has left his mark all over South Africa, contributing to albums of several artistes that include Blondie Makhene, Vusi Shange and the late Brenda Fassie. He composed the song “ My Baby”, which featured on Fassie’s “Imali”. Gwala still composes and produces songs for Pure Gold and Platform One.
Despite his popularity, Gwala had gone into oblivion in recent years, but he is now keen to resuscitate his career the same way that other yesteryear greats like Soul Brothers have been doing.
His show with Tuku will be a litmus test to Gwala’s ability to entice a mixed fan base that would want to sample what the three artistes have to offer, come March 30 and April 1.