The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Macheso Unleashes New Dance Routine

Sungura king Alick Macheso has a new dance routine. Called "Kochekera", the new dance involves the clasping of both hands above the head and swinging them back and forth. The new dance is part of tantalising festive package unveiled by the "Madhawu" hitmaker during a show at the Harare Gardens on Sunday night in which shared the stage with his trusted lieutenant Progress Chipfumo.

The other good news for die-hard Macheso fans is that his long-awaited album is almost ready and should be on the market soon.

The sungura maestro, however, refused to shed light on the new album's title, telling the fans: "Haina zita, you can call it whatever you want".

This was obviously a deliberate ploy to keep pirates off the scent after Macheso was forced to re-do some tracks on his previous effort, "Zvinoda Kutendwa" after they were leaked to the public.

Title or no title, this was definitely good news for Macheso fans who have endured close to two years now without any new material from "Extrabasso", although he has been sampling some of his new tracks at his shows in recent months.

Interestingly, after announcing news of his latest album, he immediately burst into the track, "Huyai Samasimba". But whether this is the name of the album or not is anybody's guess.

But there was no guessing who the "king of sungura" is when Macheso, who is re-uniting with his fans after a recent United Kingdom tour, gave a five-star performance, belting out past and present hits such as "Tafadzwa", "Chimoko Changu" and "Shedia".

The highlight of the show was when he unveiled his new dance routine, "Kochekera" which proved an instant hit with the fans.

The new dance appears to have found resonance among lovebirds in the crowd who saw it as an invitation to lock arms in tight embraces -- "zero centimetres apart" as the late Dr Love Paul Matavire put it.

Another highlight was public "auditions" for additional Orchestra Mberikwazvo dancers. Among the possible new recruits was one Mapanga, Elias and a 17-year-old "Tindo".

But even before the excitement of the prospective new recruits had died down, there was another treat in store for the fans when two members of Tryson Chimbetu's Marxist Brothers joined Macheso on stage.

The pair, one of whom bears a striking resemblance to Sulumani Chimbetu, left the crowd begging for more with their "head-bobbing" dance routines.

Macheso himself invoked memories of the late Chimbetu brothers, Naison and Simon, with a near-perfect imitation of the trademark whistling and "cellular dance".

The day might have belonged to Macheso and company but Chipfumo and his Sounds of the Motherland gave a good account of themselves as curtain-raisers.

The "Mangerengere" hitmaker has come a long way since his formative years with the Portia Gwanzura-led Hohodza Band.

The dreadlocked musician had the crowd dancing along to several of his current and yesteryear hits, which speak against child sexual abuse ("Kugomerera Mwana Wako"), extolling the virtues of motherhood ("Nherera") as well as advocating for women's rights.

Macheso and Chipfumo appear to have struck a cordial working relationship, and have been inseparable since their Kwekwe bash in memory of Tongai Moyo mid-October. They only "separated" when Macheso went to the UK but they have been holding joint shows ever since in Mabvuku, Bindura, Dzivaresekwa and Budiriro.

On Sunday they even did a couple of duets climaxing with an instrumental version of the popular "Ndikwenyeiwo Mai Mwana", with their guitars providing the vocals.

The crowd wanted an encore but unfortunately for "Proggie" it was time to hand over the baton over to "Baba Sharo" who kept the fans on their toes until late into the night.

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