By Joe Mafana.
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News of The South) – It was the stuff only legends could deliver on a long awaited homecoming show.
Thomas Mukanya Mapfumo gave a performance that sent the 8000 plus crowd down memory lane full of quality and energy. Performing on home soil for the first time in 14 years, the Lion of Zimbabwe music lasted a memorable 3 hours on stage dishing out the best from years gone by.
The show aptly called Big Bira turned out to be just that with a huge crowd turning out to see their music icon belt out chimurenga hits from yesteryear and a few new tracks. And the supporting acts from legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Diana Samkange, Gary Tight, Sulumani Chimbetu and Winky Dee did well to prep the crowd for the Hurricane Hugo that was to come.
At 2am the big man took to the stage clad in a smart black suit, reminding many of his fine taste in dressing. And the crowd rose to welcome their icon.
For the next 3 hours the mature in the crowd were reminded of this man’s entrancing biras at Club Hide Out, Mushandirapamwe hotel, Skyline and Club Saratoga in years gone by. For the younger generation it was a revelation of the richness of pure Zimbabwean music.
Mukanya was ably backed by a 16 member band which had some of the States based Blacks Unlimited mixed with some lacal based veterans led by Phillip Svosve on sax. They delivered all the old favourites like Bhutsu Mutandarika and Nyoka Musango just as good as they are on record.
If there is one question that the crowd was left with is who will take the Chimurenga music mantle from Mukanya. Will Zimbabwe ever produce another traditional musician with the same clarity of song and delivery.
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