25 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Acoustic Night Moulds Young Artistes Into Stars

A near capacity crowd turned up for a night of music spiced with poetry at the Zimbabwe Germany Society on Friday that left revellers convinced that "Zimbabwe's Got Talent." The occasion was, in fact, Acoustic Night, a joint venture between afro-soul singer, songwriter and guitarist Tariro Ruzvidzo's Wildfire Events and the Zimbabwe Germany Society.

Acoustic Night was launched in 2010 by Tariro with the help of fellow musicians and has become a developmental platform for many performing artistes including Tariro herself, Prayer Soul, Rutendo Machiridza, Elle and poet Aura, among others.

Last Friday's line-up included Adiona Maboreke -- wife to former Big Brother Africa housemate Munyaradzi Chidzonga -- who gave a heart-warming performance that included tracks like "Secret Identity" and "Always Be Your Joy", which she said reminded her of her wedding day.

Also lighting up the stage were up-and-coming artistes Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu, David Machaka, Joseph and Marble, who gave a good account of themselves.

Special mention goes to Tendai Madzviti, who fronts the group Luggards made up of students from the Zimbabwe School of Music who mesmerised the crowd with his powerful voice and flawless stage presence.

He showed his vocal abilities as he belted out his own composition "You Took My Heart" and left the stage to rapturous applause from the crowd.

The poets were ably represented by Black Pearl, Charity, Vokal, So Profound and Dimitri, whose themes ranged from love to the joy of Christmas among other pertinent topics.

Vokal's "Heroes", which chronicles Zimbabwe's struggle for independence and explains what it means to be a hero, was particularly touching.

But the night belonged to local R&B group Soulbone.

The four- member group gave the full house a taste of what they are capable of with their own renditions of golden oldies mainly from MoTown legends The Temptations, most notably "Earth Angel", "My Girl", "Imagination" and "Love I Can Feel".

The former Danhiko School students went on to serenade the crowd with a powerful accapella version of soul diva Diana Ross's "Stay" before putting the seal on a scintillating show with Justin Timberlake's "End of Time", demonstrating just how versatile they are.

The quartet of Clever Mukazi, Bright Kadenga, Goodnews Nyamakawo and Christopher Joe, well known for their hits "Lets Play" and "It is True", are currently putting the finishing touches on an album whose launch is slated for the new year.

Tariro said: "Acoustic Night aims to help talented up-and-coming artistes, from musicians to poets, by giving them a platform to connect among themselves."

Auditions for the Acoustic Night are held on the first Saturday of each month at the ZGS gazebo.

An offshoot of Acoustic Night is the Business of Art, a monthly workshop in which up-and-coming artistes learn about how turn their passion into cash by using various strategies, including social media, to market themselves.

"We run workshops in order to help these young artistes adopt a more professional approach to their careers," Tariro said.

Looking into the future, Tariro, who is steadily creating her own brand, said it was her wish to reach a wider audience in order to expose and promote new talent.

"Our aim for 2013 is to have annual tours worldwide as we seek to present to the world Zimbabwe's culture through song and poetry and branch out to other cities and towns so as to give these young artistes nationwide exposure," she said.

As part of this drive, Acoustic Night All Stars Rutendo Machiridza, Tariro, Prayer Soul and Kelvin Tapi will embark on a month-long tour of Europe come March next year.

Internationally acclaimed musician Oliver Mtukudzi has been appointed ambassador and mentor of the quartet as they seek to break into the international arena.

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