The soccer legends-musicians match is upon us again. This time every year, music fans get to see the lighter side of their icons in this social event that is fast becoming popular.
Column by Godwin Muzari
Although the programme of the day also incorporates a competitive soccer match pitting popular teams, focus is usually on this light match that has seen famous musicians like Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Sulumani Chimbetu and Leonard Zhakata trying some skills on the pitch.
Although some of the musicians are previous football players, most of them just kick the ball to any direction, as and when it reaches their feet.
It is this lack of talent on the pitch and directionless maneuvers that entertain the crowd most. Musicians like Peter Moyo, Victor Kunonga, King Shaddy, Tambaoga, First Farai and Nicholas Zakaria have, in the past, proved to have good skills while the likes of Kapfupi, Macheso, Zhakata and Mtukudzi become a marvel to watch as they do the unexpected (get lost) with the ball.
It was exciting to see a female musician, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, getting some minutes to add glitter to the match as one of the strikers last year. It was interesting to see Kapfupi faking injury just to get team medic, Sandra Ndebele, onto the pitch.
Every year, the match brings surprises and it appears organisers are never short of such.
The match started as a get-together affair between musicians and journalists. It went on to incorporate yesteryear soccer players and this year it has grown to bring aboard captains of industry and parliamentarians.
It started as a funny affair at Zimbabwe Grounds and then turned into a serious-yet-light-hearted event at Gwanzura Stadium. The match then moved to Rufaro where it will be held again on Saturday.
At one edition of the event at Gwanzura, a massive gig featuring all artists took place after the match.
Such has been the journey that this event has travelled so far.
Soccer match brings rivals together
The match does not only provide fun for audiences, but it is a way of sealing crevices that appear in the music terrain regularly.
In 2009 it brought a good moment when then sworn enemies Alick Macheso and Tongai Moyo got to walk around the stadium hand in hand greeting their fans. There were wild cheers among fans and pictures of the duo walking together were a point of attraction in various newspapers the following week.
Last year the match took place just after the much-publicised beef between Macheso and Chimbetu. It took place about three weeks after three of Macheso’s senior band members had crossed over to Chimbetu’s Orchestra Dendera Kings. Relations between the two were indeed sour but at the match they ran side by side and fans enjoyed it.
Although in some cases these musicians do not do it wholeheartedly, such a display of unity makes a good picture to fans.
This year eyes are likely to be on Macheso and Chimbetu, who are now regarded as stiff competitors since they released their new albums.
Eyes will also be on the Chimbetus (Sulumani, Douglas, Tryson and Allan) that have been reported to be haggling at various levels. Hopefully, the match will be a unifier once again.