By Mtandazo Dube
GONE are the days when elections in Zimbabwe meant travel warnings, cancellation of gigs and a crackdown on gatherings of any kind – it is business as usual in Zimbabwe – a few hours before millions go to the polls to cast their votes.
Music promoters, venue owners, musicians and other artistes are enjoying brisk business, making deals and continuing with life in a refreshing shift from the previous political administration’s politics of fear.
Rhumba giant, Koffi Olomide, who is currently in Zambia, is expected in the country this Wednesday, two days before he takes to the stage at the HICC. On Thursday Jamaican superstar, Charly Black, will also land on Zimbabwean shores for a performance on Saturday at Long Cheng Plaza Gardens in the capital.
Black is bringing two other Jamaican artistes that will warm the stage for him at the mammoth gig, which is set to bring out multitudes of dancehall fans after a lengthy spell without a foreign reggae-dancehall act gracing the Zimbabwean showbiz scene. The last Jamaican act to perform in Zimbabwe was Tarrus Riley back in October 2017.
Natty O, Queen Kadija, Soul Jah Love, Freeman, Hwindi President, Kinnah and Dadza D will lead a massive line-up of supporting acts at the show, which is expected to attract mainly young people and followers of the reggae-dancehall movement.
The day before, a massive team of performers, among them Alick Macheso and Winky D would have shared the stage with Congolese rhumba maestro Koffi Olomide at the HICC. Powered by Soundblaze Promotions, the gig is likely to be oversubscribed as it has three giants that play different genres sharing the same stage.
Sungura king, Macheso, who has hit top form and is currently the most sought-after entertainer in Zimbabwe after releasing his 11th Album, “Dzinosvitsa Kure”, has promised a top drawer performance.
Speaking through his publicist Tich Makahamadze, he said there were a number of artistes expected to perform at the show, therefore, his act would be tight and packed with “bangers only”.
“We will not have time to play around, it will be serious business from the get-go. Our fans should come prepared to party because our playlist on Friday will strictly be for merrymaking,” said Makahamadze.
Another artiste expected to take to the stage at the HICC is Suluman Chimbetu, whose timeless dendera beats drive music fans into delirium every time he takes to the stage. Chimbetu has been packing fans into his shows lately and the Friday gig gives him yet another opportunity to show all and sundry what he is really made of.
Said Chimbetu: “We are happy that our country has reached this stage, where processes like elections no longer disrupt business. There is something very pleasant awaiting everyone on the other side. As Orchestra Dendera Kings we are delighted to be entertaining peace-loving Zimbabweans at a time like this.”
Consultant-cum-music promoter Benjamin Nyandoro said the fact that promoters, venue owners and artistes are going about their business as usual shows confidence in what is happening in the country.
“No promoter or artiste wants to make a loss or have their property destroyed. If there was an environment of fear and intimidation – promoters would not gamble their monies.In fact, foreign acts would even be scared of coming here. Zimbabweans have matured and the politicians taking part in this election have also helped to create a conducive environment. As the arts industry we are very excited by these developments,” said Nyandoro. Sunday Mail.