NIGERIAN pop star D'Banj is expected to arrive in Harare next week for his first ever performance in Zimbabwe as the countdown to the Lion Lager Beer Summer Festival scheduled for the Glamis Stadium on October 26 begins. Dubbed as "Battle of Africa", the festival will see D'Banj representing West Africa, Ugandan Babe Cool East Africa and a host of Zimbabwean musicians among them Winky D, Guspy Warrior and King Shaddy representing Southern Africa.
D'Banj, born Dapo Daniel Oyebanj, is one of the sought-after Nigerian performers whose music will move those who enjoy listening to African music, whether young or old.
What is surprising is that most Zimbabweans think D'Banj is a one-hit wonder and yet he has got several songs which are as entertaining as they are danceable. So D'Banj fans should prepare for a great show with non-stop hits.
According to New York Times, D'Banj or Kokomaster as he is affectionately known by his legion of fans, "is one of the great African pop stars of the past decade, a charming singer but, more important, a savvy showman. For years, this Nigerian singer was at the centre of the Mo'Hits Records stable, but now he's struck out on his own with a new label and the compilation 'D'Banj Presents DKM (D' King's Men)' (DB/G.O.O.D./Sony).
"It's an alluring contemporary pop album with an emphasis on kingsize dance music, like the militarily efficient 'Don't Tell Me Nonsense' and the flash of last year's excellent smash hit 'Oliver Twist'.
"D'Banj is also a savvy synthesiser of the old and new Africa, as on 'Nous les Meilleurs (We the Best),' a duet with the Congolese singer Fally Ipupa. But really, D'Banj has his eye on the world; he's signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music imprint, and the lovely 'Scape Goat (The Fix)' features what's certainly the most cheerful version of Mr West you'll hear this year, or any year."
Early this year, the Nigerian thrilled fans at the closing ceremony of Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa with his acrobatic dance moves.
He gave one of the best performances at the ceremony.
The same goes with Babe Cool whose real name is Moses Ssali. Although he is not well known in Zimbabwe, he is the sort of musicians that you will love and remember long after the show because of his music.
Last year, Nigerian group P-Square left the crowd begging for more and left lasting impression on the music scene. Expectations are high this year for D'Banj who faces Zimbabwe's Winky D, a dancehall prodigy who is known for upstaging foreign acts.
The Ninja President as Winky D is fondly called by his fans gave Beenie Man a run for his money and surprised many when he appeared on stage clad in ninja gear. It would be interesting to see what he has up his sleeves this time around.