The Independence Gala, held at the Borrowdale Racecourse on Thursday night, could have set new trends for the country’s forthcoming galas.
By Silence Charumbira
From the venue, Borrowdale Racecourse, in the heart of the affable residential area that houses the elite of Harare to the new concept of having three comics as the masters of ceremonies, the gala had a string of surprises for revellers.
Previously, the gala has been known to be an event for the common people where known radio personalities’ voices were monotonous.
Yet this time around, it was Babongile Skonjwa, Uncle Sam and Doc Vikela who took the reins.
Perfomances were restricted to 20 minutes long and an artist however good, stepped off the stage on the dot.
Hope Masike, who usually performs at the Book Café, private functions and other smaller venues like Alliance Francaise got a chance to prove herself before thousands of revellers.
It was a marvel to watch Sandra Ndebele perform her seductive dance routines on the dance floor. To some it may seem as if she still has it in that voluptuous body but she had to do something after Sulumani Chimbetu left the stage prematurely.
Being Sulu, he had wowed fans and they clamoured for more, but when he did not come back Sandra had to maintain the vibe.
Sabastian Magacha too, performing right after Soul Jah Love had quite a task and was betrayed by his bassist who tried to imitate Alick Macheso’s bass guitar lines and failed dismally.
His rhythmist had to rescue the poor fellow.
Leonard Zhakata, who rarely performs at gigs, proved his worth with a polished set giving the organisers a reason not to be left out in the future.
The stage was high enough for the crowd while the sound was without glitches.
Security was well-planned with the police presence commendable.
What would seal the elite nature of the gala was the 2am ending time.
Unlike the usual trend when a gala continues up to midday of Saturday having started on Friday evening, this particular one was scheduled to end at midnight.
It was Alick Macheso who defied the odds with an hour long set that had him play until around 2am.
Being Borrowdale, revellers, some of whom had travelled from Domboshava, had to start finding transport while others were commuting to their respective homes.