30 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Nhira Re-Invents Herself

Photo: Anne Nhira/Facebook
Anne Nhira

Many know Anne Nhira as 'Vimbai' in the now defunct soap "Studio 263". But few know her as a singer.Anne Nhira was one of the guest artistes at the 2013 edition of the Acoustic Night, a talent search programme run by the Zimbabwe German Society in conjunction with Wildfire Events, that got underway last Friday with a star- studded line-up that included songbirds Plaxedes Wenyika and Adiona Maboreke.

Not surprisingly, there were gasps of "Who?" or "Did I hear you right?" when emcee PrayerSoul announced Anne Nhira as the next performer. But she soon silenced the Doubting Thomases with a riveting performance of her own composition titled "The One".

It seems music runs in the Nhira family as all her brothers took to the stage one after the other starting with Ju-Wayne ("Ndaifunga Ndiwe"), Prince ("Your Love"), Mambo Fletcher ("Rudo Rwako"), A-Swag ("The Best I Ever Had"), Shawna ("Mudhara Parudo") and Lamont ("Where I Am").

Plaxedes, who has been out of the limelight despite launching her fifth album last year, performed some of her golden oldies such as "Tisaparadzane" as well as more recent tracks like "Ndiwe Wega" and "Hapana Angandide" much to the delight of the lovebirds in the crowd.

With Valentine's Day just weeks away her choice of music for the night was just spot on.

Adiona Maboreke showed she's not just a pretty face but a gifted vocalist too with a near perfect rendition of Alicia Keys' classic hit song, "If I Ain't Got You".

The show also served as a dress rehearsal for the trio of Tariro Ruzvidzo, PrayerSoul and Rutendo Machiridza ahead of their 22-show maiden tour of Europe with German band Jamaram in March.

Tariro Ruzvidzo, PrayerSoul and Rutendo Machiridza - the three Acoustic Night All Stars - used Friday night's show to fine-tune their skills as the countdown to their maiden European tour begins in earnest.

However, event organiser Tariro - a regular performer at the Zimbabwe German Society and at various private functions - took a back seat opting to give her colleagues an opportunity to showcase their talents.

The accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, who counts the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi and American rapper Lauryn Hill among her influences, wowed fans with plug tracks "Be a Man", "Uripi" and crowd favourite "Wildfire".

PrayerSoul, who was the emcee for the night, performed "Missing You" - a duet with fellow artiste Fungai Bengare - which proved to be a hit with the fairer sex after opening his set with "Gone in 60 Seconds".

Singer and mbira player Machiridza performed "Deliver Me" which she says is dedicated to the Almighty.

The Acoustic Night All Stars is currently made up of three stars, but there is one rising star who's knocking hard on its doors.

Her name is Rudorwashe Chasi. She is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and lawyer. On Friday, she gave her fans reason to believe in her with a sterling performance in which she sampled tracks like "African Sun" - a clarion call for Africans to have pride in their identity - and "Woda Sei" in which she advises against harbouring grudges in a relationship.

In between the musicians' performances, poets Black Pearl and So Profound delighted the audience with their spoken word prowess.

A collaboration between the Zimbabwe German Society and Tariro's Wildfire Events, Acoustic Night is held every third Friday of each month to celebrate home-grown talent in music and poetry.

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