11 June 2018

Zimbabwe: Macheso Silences Critics On Historic Album Launch

It was a night to remember. A night on which Macheso attracted a record crowd at Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza. A night when he officially launched his new album "Dzinosvitsa Kure" in a spectacular way that silenced his critics. It was Friday night and many people are still talking about the historic event. Macheso was in his best form and the crowd responded in a fascinating way.

Going on stage after midnight, Macheso began his set with the new song "Pfuma Yacho" much to the delight of fans who were singing along to the latest track.

The musician did well to release the album before the official launch because revellers already knew the lyrics of the new songs. They sang along and cheered their icon who seemed to get possessed with a spirit of supernatural stage presence. New songs like "Kudzwai" and "Chikuru Kurarama" were also popular.

As guitar strings complemented each other in an emphatic way, Macheso fanned the excitement when he raised his hands high and shouted his "Ayayaaah" chant that always injects frenzy in his fans.

On that night it actually worked magic and the Aquatic Complex roared. "Ayayaah" was the merrymaking slogan of the night. Macheso's band evidently enjoyed every moment as cheering from the crowd seemed to send them to the highest level of energy and creativity.

The dancers lost their souls to fancy footwork, the chanters belted their praise lines in exaggerated fashion, the guitarists had no mercy for the strings and Macheso sped-up the joyride with well-timed accelerations of his bass guitar.

During his performance, Macheso was joined on stage by Tedious Matsito's son Muchapedza (junior) who entertained the crowd with renditions of his father's hits as Orchestra Mberikwazvo backed him.

Macheso was so touched with the crowd's response that he broke down as he spoke about how the young singer was trying to keep his ailing father's music alive and fighting to fend for the family.

A strategic mixture of old and new songs won Macheso unparalleled attention throughout the night.

He had an energetic six-hour performance and his security team had a tough time to take him off the stage around 6am. He just wanted to continue because the auditorium was still full. If his management and security details had not sternly insisted that he goes off the stage, Macheso could have easily performed until sunrise.

Maybe the big crowd and the stylish way in which he had started his act had breathed too much energy into his veins.

He was all smiles at the beginning of the act when Jah Prayzah sang "Happy Birthday Macheso" to introduce him on stage.

The event was a triple celebration for Macheso. He was celebrating his 50th birthday and also marking Orchestra Mberikwazvo's 20th anniversary.

His family and friends joined him on stage as two birthday cakes were also brought to the fore. As his wife Mai Sharo joined him on stage, they hugged and kissed and the crowd went wild.

His son Esau took the responsibility to introduce family members.

Also present were Macheso's fans from outside the country.

Some had come from Mozambique, others had come from South Africa and South Korean Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Cho Jaichel, gave thumbs up to the sungura maestro.

Jaichel, was mesmerised by Macheso's guitar skills as he strummed his instrument with legendary expertise.

The diplomat gave Macheso a birthday cake and extended an invite for a South Korean show to the sungura maestro.

Also supporting Macheso's latest offering was Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kazembe Kazembe who officially launched the project.

"Dzinosvika Kure" was auctioned and bought by music promotion company Alphatronix for $3 000, while famous prophet Madzibaba Masango got the CD for $2 500.

Other popular faces in attendance included businessman Regis Munenzva and former Warriors captain Willard Katsande.

Macheso saluted all prominent people he noticed in the crowd and also thanked all his fans and fellow musicians.

In a backstage interview during the show, the musician said he last saw such a big crowd at Aquatic Complex a long time ago.

"Many musicians and promoters were shunning this venue because it was becoming too big as numbers that attend shows dwindled. We are glad to have such a big show. We have celebrated in a big way. People have come to celebrate my birthday, the album and Orchestra Mberikwazvo's 20 years in music. We are honoured to have such a great show and I want to thank other musicians that came to perform here," said Macheso.

Other performances came from Jah Prayzah, Leonard Zhakata, Sniper Storm and Faheem Somanje.

Although Jah Prayzah's performance could not match Macheso's spirited act, he did well with his hit songs and prepared the stage well for the man of the night.

His band was smartly dressed and he did not disappoint. Given that he was trading in Macheso's territory, Jah Prayzah was at risk of being received by stern disapproval from fans, but he did his part in a commendable way.

Zhakata's yesteryear hits like "Mugove", "Hupenyu Mutoro", "Batai Mazwi" and "Gomba Remarara" left the audience yearning for more.

Faheem rode on his father's hits and got his fair share of appreciation while Sniper represented the dancehall fraternity well.

It was a show with all colours of excitement and Macheso's "Dzinosvitsa Kure" is destined for greater heights. Like its title, the album will take Macheso far in his music journey.

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