United States-Based legendary Chimurenga music maestro Thomas "Mukanya" Mapfumo made a surprise appearance at Johannesburg's Carnival City on Saturday night where Oliver Mtukudzi was the main drawcard at the "One Night in Africa" concert.
Mukanya was not part of the original line-up of artistes to perform and his emergence sent thousands of Zimbabweans who packed the auditorium into a frenzy.
What began as a rumour in the city became reality when Mukanya strolled onto the stage at exactly 10.30pm.
Spotting his newly-grown dreadlocks, hat and a black leather jacket Mapfumo was visibly surprised by the warm reception he got from the fans.
He went on to perform just one track - his ever-popular "Hwahwa" as the crowd sang along.
Mukanya used a "makeshift" band that included veteran drummer and Tuku's manager, Sam Mataure, as he was in South Africa alone on a private visit.
"Ndinoda kukutendai mose mauya kuzondiona. Handina kuuya neBlacks Unlimited asi tiri kudzoka," said the husky-voiced veteran as top-of-the-range cellphones where held up high as many fans took photographs and videos of the rare occurrence.
The house went into elation mode when the lanky Tuku - dressed in all white - made his way to the stage and did a duet of a new English track with Mukanya.
The two icons strummed their guitars while seated on stage with the fans applauding all the way.
Their act took just 15 minutes but was worth every second penny.
The night began with South African songbird Asanda Bam giving a five-star performance that underlined her growing Afrosoul status. The tempo rose higher when the Jaziel Brothers of the "Woza" fame serenaded fans with their love ballads. The brothers invited Tuku for a duet to a wild applause.
The over 5 000-strong cosmopolitan crowd included citizens of countries both sides of the Limpopo.
The South Africans would sing along in their vernacular languages when their own artistes were on stage. Their Zimbabwean counterparts - who constituted the majority - had their turn to sing in Shona in both Tuku and Mukanya's performances.
In total Tuku played just eight tracks - "Shanda", "Bvuma", "Todii", "Kumagobo", "Mutserendende", "Neria", "Tozeza Baba" and "Ndima Ndapedza".
He left the crowd clamouring for more as he rounded up the show at exactly midnight as per the show ticket's terms and conditions. Samanyanga is billed for a comeback show in Johannesburg in three weeks' time.
Those that came enjoyed their money's worth in a night that is likely to take long to reincarnate. Long lost friends and lovers reunited as evidenced by the hugs, kisses and business cards exchanged in the hall.
The R280 entry fee and the venue - which is inaccessible by public transport at night - ensured only those privileged enough attended keeping at bay the also-rans.
The stage was beautifully lit and the sound was top notch. Two huge plasma screens projected a close-up of proceedings for those distant from the stage. Getting parking space was a task which was, however, made light by good logistics planning on the part of the organisers.
The story originally appeared in H-Metro.