MULTI award-winning South African musician Zahara and Mzansi based Zimbabwean star Berita Gugulethu Khumalo are set to headline Pakare Paye’s 2018 Solo Fest.
The festival which is returning following a two-year break is scheduled to take place next month on September 1.
Among the list of performers are local young musicians that are showing great potential namely Pro-Beats, Silent Nqo, Norman Masamba, Mangoma, Mbeu and Donald Kanyuchi.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Mail Society, Berita said she is looking forward to reconnect with her Zimbabwe fans.
“It has been a while since I last performed in Zimbabwe,” she said, adding, “I’m honoured and excited to be invited for the second time to perform at the ‘Solo Fest’. I’m looking forward to an amazing time on and off stage.”
Berita said the “Solo Fest” will kick start her “Summer Sadc Tour”.
“I will be sharing my soulful blend of Afrocentric music ballads and feel good mid-tempo jams.
“In the mix I will throw in a Swahili song from East Africa and some Xhosa songs from the Eastern Cape,” hinted Berita.
Founder of the festival and African music icon, Dr Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi revealed an honorary award will be given at the extravaganza.
“We started the festival in 2006 with the objective of empowering musicians.
“I am proud to reveal that this year we will be giving an honorary award dubbed ‘Legend Solo Fest Award’ to David ‘Groovy’ Ndoro. An amazing guitarist who played with the likes of Hilton Mambo,” said Dr Mtukudzi.
The veteran singer further adds the festival should be cherished as it creates intimacy between the audience and performers.
“The platform is there to prove that without a band an artiste can pull it off. It challenges musicians to develop their playing skills. It shows the audience who the musician really is.
“Acts such as Suluman Chimbetu developed their guitar playing skills off this platform.
“We also seek to celebrate band members as they tend to be overshadowed by band leaders or lead vocalists,” explained Dr Tuku.
Walter Wanyanya, Dr Tuku’s manager, said the festival was also gender sensitive.
“We chose Berita and Zahara to headline the festival because they are some of the best solo acts we have seen performing.
“They just happen to be ladies that we believe need to be supported.
“They will join the likes of Tariro Negitare, Hope Masike and Joyce Warikandwa.
“We must support women in music,” said Wanyanya.
“When they perform as solo acts they will present themselves in a way that many would have never seen them before.”
Meanwhile, Wanyanya they are planning a mega birthday gig for Tuku.
“We are already planning a birthday show for Dr Mtukudzi and yes it will be a big one.
“More details will be out soon.”
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