German-bound singer, songwriter and guitarist Tariro Ruzvidzo better known as Tariro neGitare gave her fans an early Valentine's Day treat with a selection of her best love songs at the Book Café on Saturday night.
As if to reinforce the love theme, her backing vocalists were immaculately turned out in red and black.
From the soulful "Mascara", Uripi?" and perennial crowd favourite "Cut Cut" to the up-tempo "I'm Burning Like a Wildfire", "Watora Mwoyo Wangu" and "Ndinokudawo" it was pure Valentine bliss for the revellers.
A highlight of her performance was a collaboration with award-winning Botswana poet Mandisa Mabuthoe as well as Edith WeUtonga, for which they earned resounding applause. She also assumed the role of the traditional aunt by educating through song the "brothers" in the crowd on what a woman expects in a relationship.
The track "You Make Me Go Crazy" was spiced up with Jamaican reggae artistes Shaggy's "Angel" and Bob Marley's "Stir it Up".
Besides the love theme, Tariro also gave spiritual upliftment with the tracks "Zuva neZuva" (in which she does a rap verse and the crowd responded well when she showed her versatility) and "Ishe Anesu".
"I am African Girl", a celebration of the beauty of Africanness, was also warmly received by the crowd.
And for her detractors -- "whom she called the Sean Timbas of this world" -Tariro had a bold message for them in the track "The Best is Yet To Come".
When she announced in song that it was time to say "Goodbye"/"Isu Tapedza", the crowd would have none of it. "We want one more," they chanted in unison.
She obliged with "I'm Burning Like a Wildfire". It was party time as the revellers poured on to the dance floor.
Tariro neGitare's show was conveniently slotted soon after the sixth birthday celebrations of the Sistaz Open Mic, a talent search show run by the Book Café in collaboration with HIVOS. So those aspiring stars of tomorrow who stayed behind for the "after party" will have learned a thing a two from Tariro's stagecraft.
After all, Tariro is herself a product of the progamme. She went on to found a similar project "Acoustic Night", which is run by her events management company Wildfire Events in conjunction with the Zimbabwe German Society.
Tariro and her Acoustic All Night Stars are literally going places. In March, they embark on a month-long tour of Germany with superstar Oliver Mtukudzi as their chaperone.