4 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Unity Gala Comes to Gokwe

The cotton farming town of Gokwe will this year play host to the annual Unity Gala. This year's event is slated for Gokwe Centre on December 14. The event, which rotates venues annually, will give Gokwe folk a rare chance to see their music icons in action.

What is more fascinating about the gala is that the fans do not have to fork out their hard-earned cash to see their favourite musicians in action as admission will be free.

This is probably the first time a huge entourage of musicians will descend on the otherwise dormant Midlands town.

Director Urban Communications in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity Major Anyway Mutambudzi confirmed the latest development, adding that his department was yet to finalise the list of musicians lined up to perform.

"This year's Unity Gala will be held in Gokwe and we are still in negotiations with musicians who are supposed to perform at the national event," he said.

In the past, the Unity Gala has seen big names in the entertainment industry sharing the stage.

It remains to be seen if musicians such as Baba naMai Charamba, Alick Macheso, Sulumani Chimbetu and Cde Chinx, who have featured in previous events, are billed to perform again this year.

Last year, the gala was held at White City Stadium in Bulawayo with many surprises for the capacity crowd that thronged the venue which proved to be too small.

People came in their numbers and the 3 000-seat stadium was filled to capacity.

The 2011 Unity Gala brought Zimbabwe's crème de la crème from all music genres.

The City of Kings and Queens saw performances from top musicians such as the Charambas, Kireni Zulu, Mahendere Brothers, the late Andy Brown and a host of urban groovers.

Amos Mahendere, as energetic as ever, set the tone for an exuberant performance that inspired all other musicians that later took to the stage.

Zulu (Kireni) has always proved to be versatile and brewed a shocker with the Marabhi Sisters proving to be a darling of the crowd in Bulawayo.

Organisers allowed him to play only one song, but he left the crowd asking for more.

Andy Brown, featuring his long time friend Potato, also took people to the good old days with songs such as "Mapurisa".

Just like during the days of the liberation struggle, music continues to play its uniting role.

The Unity Gala celebrates the signing of the Unity Accord on December 22, 1987 between then Zanu-PF and PF Zapu.

This year marks the silver jubilee of the Unity Accord which was signed by Zanu-PF's Cde Robert Mugabe and the late PF Zapu's leader Dr Joshua Nkomo to form a united Zanu-PF.

The Unity Gala has become one of the major events in the country that brings closer people from various regions and communities.

Over the years, artistes from various regions and genres have converged to remind the people of the importance of unity and how it is critical to peace and development.

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