Following a debate that is topical in the music industry comparing the latest albums by Alick Macheso and Sulumani Chimbetu, the latter will go through a real test for his prowess when he steps into the former’s backyard with a performance at the Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza on January 25.
BY GODWIN MUZARI
The Aquatic Complex is known as Macheso’s home ground and most musicians that dare go it alone in this venue have been met with serious resistance as fans from that neighbourhood usually rally behind Macheso.
At the height of a sungura war between Macheso and the late Tongai Moyo a few years ago, the latter tried to conquer the self-proclaimed sungura king’s fortress, but the results were disappointing as attendance to the show was appalling.
Now, Sulu has been billed as a top act of a show that will feature Jah Prayzah, Nicholas Zakaria and the Dembo Brothers in Macheso’s stronghold.
It will be the first time for Sulu to lead a contigent of musicians at the gigantic Aquatic Complex and music critics should be anxiously awaiting the results of such a daring adventure.
‘I Follow promoter’s call’
The show seems like a direct challenge, but Sulu says he is simply obliged to follow a promoter’s call.
“I am not challenging anyone. Musicians should have equal chances to play at any venue, but I am aware that the Aquatic Complex is Macheso’s base because his huge support base is in Chitungwiza. It is the same with us when we perform in Highfield, where we have the majority of our Harare fans,” said Sulu.
“We are not going to Aquatic Complex with the aim of challenging anyone. Show organisers arranged everything and we are fulfilling that assignment, just like any other day.
“That is how we operate in the industry. Promoters choose their venues and performers and we just go to play at our slot like any other show.”
The show has been dubbed the “First Gig, Batai Munhu Concert”, deriving the latter part from a chorus on Sulu’s song Sean Timba.
First Gig meant for fans: Hozheri
Show organiser Josh Hozheri said they had chosen the venue to give Chitungwiza fans a good start to the 2013 showbiz calendar.
“We did the Last Gig in Harare and we are aware that a number of fans travelled from Chitungwiza and other places surrounding the capital for the show. We feel it is good to also give our fans in Chitungwiza a chance to enjoy a similar show in their city and that is why we are taking it as the “First Gig”.
“It is a way of branding our gigs and we are also calling it “Batai Munhu Concert” because the statement has become famous, following the popularity of Sulu’s song,” said Hozheri.
Jah Prayzah features on the song Sean Timba and the highlight of the show is likely to be when the two musicians perform the duet.
Jah Prayzah has amassed instant popularity through his unique act and he is likely to bring an exciting dimension to the gig. He is regarded as one of the most promising artistes locally and his fan base has been rapidly growing.
Zakaria is riding high with his latest album Kurapa Nemazwi and he will be representing artists from Chitungwiza. The left-handed lead guitarist is among the most consistent artists on the local music terrain.
Morgan and Tendai Dembo will have a chance to prove they can maintain their father’s legacy when they perform at the show.