postimg
Apr 2011 27

So Oliver Mtukudzi was playing a gig in town and I decided to go check it out. Let me explain how much of an understatement that is. Oliver Mtukudzi does not have mere gigs in Zimbabwe- he has conventions! where fans come to sing his songs louder than him. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? It’s not a situation where the audience chimes in to sing along in the chorus ati politely. No sir! I’m saying that when the guitarist strikes the first chord weh! But I get ahead of myself. Let’s start with the arrival of the fans.

So there we are in a traffic jam, one kilometer long, when we decide to pay the cab driver and walk the rest of the way. The cab guy charges us USD 4 knowing very well that you will have a 5 dollar bill and he won’t have a dollar change. It is not uncommon to be asked to purchase some extra sweets at a kiosk, when you are owed a dollar change so that ‘it can end then and there’. But in a cab what can you get for a dollar? The airfreshener hanging from the rear-view mirror? ‘I’ll take that thank you very much. Enjoy body odour.’

The venue was a hotel whose name I don’t remember. According to his manager(Oliver), it’s been a year since they last played this venue; the management had complained that the last time it got too full. ‘Oh, so it’s a small room,’ I think to myself because we always want to compare ourselves to other artists- it’s natural. While there are no ill wishes towards the other artist, we want to know that we kinda measure up. Well! The room in question is a megalopolis of a room with not one, but 2 levels, with balcony seating alone of approximately 2000 people! I counted the chairs! Have you heard that that is just the balcony? Then there is the mirror image of that balcony on the ground level. Aya. Are you with me? Those are 4,000 people. Then there’s the dance floor which holds 1000 people plausibly. Basically everyone who was at Carnivore for Hugh Masekela’s concert, and if you were at the back, you know there were many people- now all those guys on the dance floor!! The hall, as it is more aptly described, is a behemoth of 1970s African Government ,newly independent concrete grandeur-type architecture, where the artist on stage is dwarfed by a stage that must be 3 storeys high. The artist looks like what it would look like, if you grouped your roll-on, lotion and other beauty products and placed them against your bedroom wall and took a few steps back to check out the proportions.

Women in Zim insist on the highest heels, the tightest clothes and the weaves?! I tell you! Phphphphphph! I whistle in amazement at the weaves. The men will do the usual jeans and Tees. There is a universal love for alcohol though, and nearly everyone is carrying around a single or double 6 pack of Zambezi beer or a wine cooler. Good times are to be had. Weirdly, there are no indoor smoking rules so if you want to light up, just do so.

Anyway, before Tuku plays a young man by the name of Munya curtain-raises. Munya plays a set of really cool original material. Then he does this thing where he adopts the persona of a radio DJ and plays all these hits from Zim’s yesteryear. The crowd goes crazy and moves to the dance floor in droves, twisting and gyrating and booking a space on for themselves and their double six pack of Zambezi beer. (The rationale that prompts the hotel management to set up only one bar for that number of people is an issue for discussion on another day).

I hate to say this but the following act was not much to write about so I won’t.

Then Tuku comes onto stage. I say again. Then. Tuku. Comes. Onto. Stage. Nothing can prepare you for the thunderous ovation that greets him. Now si I’ve told you that the place is packed. I’ve also told you that the bar in the hotel lobby is packed. As if that room could get any fuller!! The crowds that might have sat down for the second opening act that I refuse to comment on come back to claim their space. And I don’t now what it is about dance floors in Africa- there’s always space for one more. We are now a heaving mass of Africans waiting to be addressed by their leader. Like I said earlier, when Tuku strikes the first chord of a song, people go mad! They sing ,not only the words, but also the guitar line, and they know where every hit is going to occur. There is anticipation, awareness and love in the air.

I left probably an hour and half later when I felt the last songs were coming up. I had no interest in getting stuck in the traffic jam that I knew would follow. The people I had come to the concert with had left earlier, soon after the fifth song. We’d all had a long day but their main complaint was that they had come to hear Tuku play not hear the audience sing. I disagree. That’s why we write. To get into people’s souls. That our words might be their words and our thoughts their thoughts and Tuku is all that to Zimbabwe.

37 comments

  1. I learned a lot from this post, great help for me, thank you!

  2. Linda says:

    Very nice, i suggest webmaster can set up a forum, so that we can talk and communicate.

  3. I needed to draft you that little bit of observation just to thank you yet again relating to the wonderful techniques you have shown in this article. It’s certainly incredibly open-handed of people like you to make freely exactly what a number of us could have made available for an e-book in making some money on their own, certainly considering that you might have tried it if you decided. Those tricks likewise worked to provide a fantastic way to know that someone else have similar desire really like mine to grasp more concerning this matter. I am certain there are millions of more enjoyable moments ahead for folks who discover your blog.

  4. Abaka Nyamori says:

    Well penned. You took me to Harare and back, your words are very capturing. And yes! I love Tuku’s music and yours too! This morning I listened to Adhiambo, you are a role model to upcoming artists and Kenyans on accepting cultural diversity…I’m avoiding the word ethnicity…

  5. “Where there is love there is life.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

  6. Es! (@Kiumyamuthaka) says:

    Singing along to an artists songs/lyrics just shows how much you love and appreciate their music (maybe them too). *clears throat* I’m that chic who will sing along happily and who cares about the tune! Lol.

  7. “There is no limit to the power of loving.” ~ John Morton

  8. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the share!
    Nancy.R

  9. “A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.” ~ Stendhal

  10. “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  11. Very good written article. It will be beneficial to everyone who usess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

  12. As a Newbie, I am permanently exploring online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  13. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.

  14. Really nice design and style and fantastic content material, hardly anything else we need :D .

  15. Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, thanks . “While thou livest keep a good tongue in thy head.” by William Shakespeare.

  16. Absolutely indited content material, Really enjoyed looking at.

  17. Somebody essentially lend a hand to make seriously articles I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular submit extraordinary. Fantastic process!

  18. Outstanding post, I conceive blog owners should larn a lot from this blog its really user pleasant. “Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.” by George Carlin.

  19. I really like your writing style, superb information, thanks for posting :D . “Let every man mind his own business.” by Miguel de Cervantes.

  20. Oh my goodness! a great blog post man. Thank you for sharing! However I’m experiencing problem with your RSS . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Does anyone else having similar RSS feed trouble? Anybody who can help kindly reply. Thank you.

  21. Webmaster says:

    We will share a proper RSS feed before end of the day! Thank you all for your feedback

  22. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!

  23. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful information particularly the remaining part :) I take care of such information much. I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  24. Wohh just what I was searching for, regards for posting.

  25. I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for posting. “No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.” by Agnes de Mille.

  26. It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I have read this submit and if I may just I desire to counsel you few fascinating issues or tips. Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article. I desire to learn even more issues about it!

  27. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!

  28. Thanks, I have just been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain about the source?

  29. I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  30. I like this web site because so much utile material on here.

  31. Some really good posts on this web site , thanks for contribution.

  32. Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  33. It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I could I desire to recommend you some interesting issues or advice. Maybe you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I want to learn more things about it!

  34. You are a very smart individual!

  35. “Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.” ~ Loretta Young

  36. Merely wanna tell that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  37. LONGOR says:

    Thankyou for sharing The Music Scene in Zimbabwe Eric Wainaina's Official Website with us keep update bro love your article about The Music Scene in Zimbabwe Eric Wainaina's Official Website .

Leave a Reply to Nancy