By Blessed Katiyo in Johannesburg
CHIMURENGA guru Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo has announced that his days of live performances are numbered as he now wants to rest after a career that has spanned over six decades and over 25 music albums. Mukanya, as he is affectionately known, is currently on a tour of South Africa and held his first show at Ekurhuleni Boksburg Hotel on Saturday night.
“There is a time for everything. Izvi zve ma live performances very soon tirikumira. We will do one last world tour to say farewell. We will only be performing here and there on special occasions asi toramba hedu tirimo mu music industry but zve stage we will not be doing so. This will happen very very soon, as soon as next year,” said Mapfumo, speaking alongside his manager Sam Mataure.
The Oregon-based Mapfumo is currently working on a new album which he says is going to be different from the usual Chimurenga beat.
“Music evolves and in our upcoming album we will fuse in new things never heard before. We are not completely dumping our beat but will enhance it. Just wait and see in the coming few months,” he added.
On who he thinks will succeed him he said Zimbabwe has a lot of talent that can take the baton from the older generation and run with it into the future.
“There are a number of young men and women who are doing well in Zimbabwe. They must remain original. Pane anonzi Andy Muridzo akatuma vamwe amai kuti vandifonere. Aiti anoda collaboration ndakatomumirira izvozvi. That way we can pass on what we know to the younger generation.
“We are now old and the only way to keep our music going is to pass it on to the upcoming ones. I am ready to assist those who want to remain original in our own African culture,” said the 74-year-old guru.
He went on to dish out a four-hour long five-star performance before hundreds of fans who thronged the recently refurbished venue. The crowd was mainly composed of mature people and one or two sprinklings of the youth. Not even a single skirmish was recorded the entire night.
Mukanya serenaded his fans with old time tunes such as Chigwaya, Vanhu Vatema, Manhungetunge and others. He was backed by a number of session musicians such as renowned mbira player Basil Makombe and keyboardist Innocent Mutangadura. It was a perfect 13-piece ensemble that ensured fans got their money’s worth.
Before Mukanya took to the stage the crowd was treated to some music from Joburg-based Rimba Mbira, Shivara Mulaudzi and African Vibes. Not to be outdone was Nhiyo hitmaker Darlington Mhofela Tanganyika who has become a regular on major live gigs in Johannesburg.
The underrated Tanganyika received a standing ovation after an energetic performance that won the hearts of many in the crowd. He deserved more time than the 45 minutes he got on stage.
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Ranga “Blackhorse” Mahachi paid tribute to the fans who sacrificed to attend the event.
“It was a well-attended show and had a different vibe. Everything went smoothly and we want to thank the fans for behaving so maturely. It is commendable and we want to keep the standards this high,” said Mahachi.
For those that missed this weekend’s show, Mukanya returns to the same venue next Saturday the 2nd of November for his final tour of South Africa. It may be the very last time his fans will see him live on stage in South Africa. H Metro