The Sunday Mail
FOR a town with a population of around 100 000, the double bill in Kadoma this weekend seems like an overkill and a bad investment.
The line-up, consisting of multi-award-winning South African group Mafikizolo, internationally travelled superstar Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, high-riding and evergreen Jah Prayzah plus several supporting acts — looks more suited for a festival in either Harare or Bulawayo.
As if that is not enough, the crème de la crème of Zim dancehall minus Winky D, is scheduled to take over where Tuku and team would have left off, in an entertainment package obviously designed to cater for everyone.
A gospel jamboree set for Sunday had to be rescheduled as most top artistes, both regional and local, were unavailable on this particular date.
Upon seeing this comprehensive and expensively put together entertainment package, this reporter wondered if 2 Kings Entertainment, the reigning Nama Promoter of the Year, had gone crazy. What are they hoping to achieve?
“This is no ordinary show. This is bigger than anything we have done before, not in terms of numbers expected or artistes involved but with regards to the significance of the two-day fete.
“This is a birthday celebration, not of some small institution or individual, but of a city, our city, the City of Gold, Kadoma. It was in 1917 that Kadoma, then known as Gatooma, gained municipal status,” explained 2 Kings Entertainment spokesperson Tariro Mapfumo, adding: “This is also where 2 Kings Entertainment was born before spreading its wings around Zimbabwe.”
However, it is not just the City of Gold celebrating its birthday, this is also part of Mafikizolo’s 20-year celebration in the music industry and Tuku’s Mashonaland West edition of his 65th birthday celebrations, a milestone he reached last Friday.
“If this were simply a show, there was no way we would group all these superstars in one place like this. However, we are celebrating with 100 000 people that live in Kadoma today, though we can’t fit them all at Odyssey Hotel.
“The message that their city, our city, is being celebrated will reach every household. We will also be celebrating with the founders of the town, the first black workers, home owners and business operators,” said Mapfumo.
She added; “The city has seen an influx of new residents because of its rich mineral resources. We will be celebrating with them. Tickets are being bought by people from Harare, Chinhoyi, Gweru, Kwekwe and Gokwe, to name just a few.
“This reflects how everyone views this milestone. Everyone is a part of it. As a promotions company we belong to everyone — and this is our way of taking top acts to all parts of this country and not just the big cities.”
History books show that Kadoma, formerly Gatooma until 1982, grew from a canteen opened in 1906 by Godwin, an enterprising trader along the railway. The canteen was meant to service prospectors and workers in the district.
In 1907, Gatooma was constituted under a village management board and that same year, Mrs Amelia Fitt, wife of the first Mayor of Kadoma, started to give classes to the town children in her house.
That “school” is what is known today as Jameson High School. The town was to grow spectacularly, with the first hotel opened just two years later, although it consisted of “just three huts, a dining room and a stable for horses”.
This hotel is till this day known by its original name — Specks Hotel. That same year, 1908, Standard Bank opened its first branch and four years later the Gatooma Mail, a weekly newspaper, started operations.
At that time, Kadoma, which derives its name from a once venerated shrine, a hill known as Katuma, which is also the name of the nearby kraal of Chief Katuma, was the third largest town in Rhodesia. Although it has fallen down the pecking order, Kadoma as the site of a cotton ginnery in the country and the supporting textile plants including a cotton research station, gave birth to
David Whitehead Textiles, Kadoma Glass Company and Cold Storage Company, among many other strategic economic pillars, which boosted the town’s prosperity. Indeed, Kadoma, which got its city status in March 2000, has a rich history.
The city is at the centre of a mining area which provides gold, copper and nickel. The most significant mine of the region is the Cam and Motor Mine, which is located in Eiffel Flats. This mine is the largest gold producer in Zimbabwe’s history.
Anyone who has passed through Kadoma would have noticed the preserved steam locomotives in front of Kadoma Ranch Hotel. These serve as a reminder that this town was originally founded just as a railway transit point and mining camp.
His Worship Muchineyi Chinyanganya, the Mayor of Kadoma, said he was honoured to be the mayor of the City of Gold as it attains a century as a service provider.
“I salute the City Fathers and City Mothers who have been there before me, the former employees for their contribution towards the growth of the city. For Kadoma to be where it is today is also because of the residents and various stakeholders who have continued to own up their obligations to council to enable us to provide the services,” he said.
Additional info: Wikipedia.org and “From Avondale to Zimbabwe” by R. Smith.