13 March 2005

Zimbabwe: Erotic Rhumba Woos Kombo

GOSPEL singer, Ivy Kombo, must love the limelight for controversial reasons.

The other Saturday she had a memorable night during which she cheered on raunchy France-based rhumba musician Koffi Olomide and his group, as they performed erotic dances, further raising questions about Kombo's commitment to Christian values.

Kombo performed at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) in a rare combination alongside Tongai Moyo and Olomide, during a show which turned out to be more of stage soft porn than a music concert. After producing a largely disappointing act, Kombo waited for Olomide to perform.

Journalists and musicians were surprised to see Kombo clapping her hands in appreciation and jumping up and down while ecstatically cheering on Koffi's gyrating dancers.

"I think if Ivy wants to be taken seriously she should preach to the misguided rhumba artistes to abandon their raunchy dances and not encourage them. It is disheartening to see her associating with such obscene activities," said Primrose Kanyemba who was at the show.

"Ivy has a tendency of shooting herself in the foot. I think her participation at the rhumba show has more to do with a desire to make money. For her, money comes first before the Bible," commented Charles Ruzvidzo, who also attended the show.

Kombo, who has performed at State functions and lent her weight to numerous government projects such as the tourism promoting Welcome to Victoria Falls campaign, was expected to turn down the call to perform with Olomide.

Contacted for comment on the issue a fuming Ivy said: "Mazuva ano ndine rough chaiyo. Ndatokunyara zvangu kutaura newe. (These days I am bad-tempered. You should feel honoured that I took time to speak to you.)

"To be honest I hate journalists from The Standard. I was only singing as a gospel artiste. Jesus came for those who are lost. Who knows, pamwe rimwe hure rakatotendeuka," she said, suggesting her singing could have converted one or two prostitutes who attended the rhumba show.

She also admitted that she was working on a Zanu PF propaganda project to produce jingles for the 31 March general elections.

In addition, she is also working on a Silver Jubilee Album, where most of the country's young musicians are recording songs to celebrate 25 years of independence.

"What is wrong with doing that album? Tell me what is wrong?" Kombo asked.

Professor Gordon Chavhunduka, president of the Zimbabwe National Association of Traditional Healers (ZINATHA), said there must be some semblance of dignity among gospel artists.

"Religious people must take into account people's views regarding such functions," Chavhunduka said.

In her relatively short career as a musician, Kombo has attracted a lot of controversy, especially regarding her relationships and her marriage to Admire Moyo. The rocky marriage's fate remains a mystery.

At one point she was criticised by fans for derogatory comments she made about South Africa gospel musician, Vuyo Mokoena.

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