The Sunday Mail
This festive season, all the big guns are being pulled out to ensure there is no excuse not to party.
Among the music acts many are looking forward to is the prodigal granddad of chimurenga music, Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo.
Mukanya is in the midst of a nationwide work-inspired tourism excursion, something he last did 14 years ago.
This Saturday, Mapfumo is in Kadoma, the City of Gold, where the likes of South Africa’s Mafikizolo have mined before and come out richer than they expected.
After a slow start to his tour, which saw the farcical abandonment of the Gweru leg, Mukanya could yet strike gold when he stops in Kadoma.
In Kadoma, everyone will get a piece of the pie, be it Zim dancehall, sungura, hip-hop and dance.
The town is hungry for entertainment, and owners of Odyssey Hotel have just the solution.
After Mukanya’s Unity Day show, the town will welcome King of Sungura Alick Macheso on Christmas Eve; Jah Prayzah on December 28; and then close out the year with a dancehall fiesta headlined by Winky D and Tocky Vibes on December 31.
The big guns being rolled out this festive season are not only Zimbabwe’s big guns.
Grammy award-winning reggae outfit Morgan Heritage makes a welcome return to Harare two years after they left fans begging for more at a well-attended gig.
They return to the Harare International Conference Centre. And this time they have brought another monster act with them: Lutan Fyah.
“This message is for all of our people in Zimbabwe, all our family and friends, we are coming to see you one more time. We are going to have Winky D and Lutan Fyah who have been added to the line-up.
“Get you tickets, do not wait till the last minute. We are looking forward to the show and it’s going to be good to be back in Zimbabwe,” said Morgan family members Peetah and Mr Mojo in a video message posted on social media last week.
The line-up has every reggae-dancehall fan salivating as the Ninja President, Winky D, has been thrown into the fray. “Come Over”, “Ungrateful”, “Rastafari Leads the Way”, “No Wah Settle Down” and “Mi A Nuh Idiot” are just a few of Lutan Fyah’s slew of hits that will surely whip fans into a frenzy.
Transit Crew, Enzo Ishall, Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz, Bazooka, Hwindi President, Garry B and Templeman are among a local contingent set to warm the stage for the Jamaicans.
This will mark Transit Crew’s big stage comeback.
For decades, the band has been one of Zimbabwe’s most significant reggae outfits.
Established in the late ’80s, the band has stood the test of time and despite losing the majority of its founding members and bringing in other talented artistes along the way, the foundation has remained strong.
While local reggae music has lost its footing, with its sub-genre Zim dancehall becoming the sound of choice for many music lovers, Transit Crew has continued to soldier on.
Despite their immense talent and ability to captivate crowds with their live performances, slots on most of the major gigs held in the country have evaded them.
However, Transit Crew were part of the supporting acts when the Heritage family performed in the country back in 2016.
This will be a welcome addition to the line-up as they add more fire power to the reggae atmosphere, considering that other local acts performing on the day will be representing the Zim dancehall fraternity.
With a playlist that includes both original compositions and cover versions, Transit Crew are seasoned performers who never disappoint every time they take to the stage.
They are so good that they have played as a backing band for numerous visiting international reggae artistes, including Luciano, Sizzla Kalonji and King Sounds, among others.
Speaking in an interview, Transit Crew spokesperson Tawonga Mafundikwa said they were honoured to be part of the Morgan Heritage gig.
“Given the stature of Morgan Heritage, the royal family of reggae music and what they have achieved on the global stage, we feel honoured to be part of their show. As a big brand ourselves, we feel this is another opportunity to show the world what we are made of and what I can tell the fans is that we are ready to explode on the grand stage,” said Mafundikwa.
Transit Crew have shared the stage with numerous other international superstars such as Dennis Brown, Ijahman Levi, Eric Donaldson, Culture and Shabba Ranks among others.
They have a Friday slot at Legends Bar and are often hired for corporate events and weddings.