The Sunday Mail
ORDINARILY, Samora Machel Avenue is just one busy road slicing through Harare’s CBD.
On the urban cultural scene, however, this is a well-known boundary, which splits the north and south of this road into certain class structures. The north is associated with an upmarket lifestyle while the south is affiliated with ghetto vibes.
Lately, though, people from both sides have been crossing over to experience what life on the other side is like. It is clear that Unplugged and Madirirano share an almost similar audience, albeit both having their own extremes.
This coming Saturday, these two fetes will go head-to-head in what has been dubbed “The Battle of Samora” by leisure enthusiasts. Madirirano is being held at Takashinga Cricket Club while Unplugged sets up shop at Wingate Golf Club.
Each event might have its loyal followers but those that subscribe to both have a dilemma now that they are being held on the same date, at the same times.
Unplugged, which abandoned its monthly format, adopting a festival setup, has brought in a heavyweight act in the form of Kenyan Afro-pop giants, Sauti Sol, to headline their event. This is set to be a major event, which marks the birth of a new product on the entertainment scene with organisers highlighting that the Unplugged Festival is totally different from their previous concept.
“We are calling it Unplugged 2.0 and people should expect a larger scale event that’s experience focused. The look and feel will be totally different and there will be a variety of cuisine including Japanese, Chinese and specialised deserts.
“On the beverages side we have four different bars including Horsebox, Danai Wines and Elixir. Overall it will feel like another world when people walk through the gates,” said co-founder Chiedza Danha.
She said preparations for the event were going according to plan.
“We are certain we will deliver a fantastic show, especially with all the changes we have implemented and our super amazing line-up,” said Danha.
On how they settled for Sauti Sol, Danha said, “We opted for Sauti Sol to be the headline act because we are huge fans and we have followed their career for over nine years. We are stoked about the well-deserved recognition they are now getting around the continent.
“We have also responded to the call from Unpluggers for us to bring them here as people have been asking for them to perform on our stage for two years now. Their live performances are electric.”
Sauti Sol will be supported by Tamy Moyo, Travellers Band, Victor Kunonga, Amy and The Calmities, and Soul Deep. Danha said hosting their event on the same day as Madirirano was not going to have an effect on their festival.
“This is a large market, we have more than enough music lovers for both events to be successful,” she said.
Meanwhile, organisers of Madirirano are promising fireworks.
“Everything is almost ready and we are promising an explosive event, which is way better than past editions. There are several things that people complained about last time and we have done our homework. We have improved in the various departments that were lacking,” said organiser Simba “Bodyslam” Chakare.
Artistes who will perform on the day include Takura, Nutty O, Stunner, Probeats, Transit Crew and BV Labien Musica to name just a few. Chakare added that the Unplugged factor was a welcome development as it meant that there would be more options of much needed fun for merrymakers to choose from.
“For the past three years, we have been hosting this event three times a year, during the Easter and Heroes holidays as well as on December 22, dates we have never changed,” he said.
“This time around we are sharing the same date with Unplugged, but I don’t see any problem because people have different tastes and will choose what best suits them. Ours is a ghetto party while Unplugged is an uptown market, but then again two functions on the same day might not even be enough to satisfy the much needed fun in Zimbabwe. All the best to Unplugged,” said Chakare.
VVIP tables for the event have already sold out while those for the VIP area have also been moving. Ordinary entry is free.