Songstress Chiwoniso Maraire proved to a full house at the Book Café on New Year's Eve why she is the queen of the mbira with a sterling performance that left the crowd asking for more. The show brought together a mix of up-coming and seasoned artistes. Mbira exponents Hope Masike and Nyamasvisva, and afro-soul singer BaShupi represented the seasoned artistes. The upcoming artistes included Gary Tight, Tehn Diamond and Junior Brown and award-winning hip-hop artiste Synik.
The show started off at a slow pace with revellers largely enjoying their drinks and meals. But the tempo changed when the fired-up duo of Tehn Diamond and Junior Brown took to the stage and delivered a top-drawer act that soon had the crowd on its feet.
While Masike delivered a low-key performance, the dreadlocked Nyamasvisva - clad in flowing robes and ankle-length woollen scarf -- gave a good account of himself.
But it was BaShupi who whipped the crowd into frenzy with his polished act. The charismatic "Godo" hitmaker took to the stage at exactly 11.30pm and extended a warm welcome to everyone present - "black, white, yellow, green, friend or foe" - in his customary tongue-in-cheek fashion.
The countdown to the New Year had begun in earnest.
When clock struck midnight, BaShupi went into overdrive with "Tezvara Waramba" which was immediately followed up by "Mai Mwana Muri Chocolate".
Then there was a marathon performance of yesteryear hits such as Paul Mpofu's "KwaMurambinda", Amayenge's "Aphiri", Calisto Nyamhute's "Special Meat", Leonard Dembo's "Chitekekete", Marshall Munhumumwe's "Mbereko Yakaramba", Oliver Mtukudzi's "Perekedza Mwana" and the Cameroonian hit "Sangalewa" all blended into one happy song.
For his closing act, BaShupi teamed up with Chiwoniso as the mbira queen prepared to take revellers into 2013 with perennial crowd favourites such as "Amai (Fambai Zvakanaka)", "Hondo", "Zvichapera Rini" and "Nhemamusasa".