THOUSANDS of fans thronged the Glamis Arena in Harare on Friday to celebrate the 60th birthday of music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi where they were treated to scintillating performances from various artists.
REPORT BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
The bash, that had a classical line-up consisting local and South African acts, lived up to its billing with a colourful audience from varied backgrounds.
The fans were also treated to a barrage of fireworks display that illuminated the sky.
A few minutes before midnight, Tuku popped on the stage to a thunderous applause.
And exactly thirty seconds before midnight, his fans did a countdown before the music superstar cut a stylish self-statue cake which he shared with his family and friends.
After the formalities, Tuku invited musicians that he had worked with in the past, including the South African trio of Ringo Madhlingozi, Dorothy Masuka and Steve Dyer and they collaborated on several songs.
Their collaboration revoked memories of the old good days among Tuku’s fans, sending them into wild jubilation.
Earlier, Mukudzei Mukombe, popularly referred to as Jah Prayzah, had put up a thrilling performance after taking over from Tryson Chimbetu who suffered from poor sound engineering.
Before Tryson had come to the stage, another youngster often peddled as the next big find in local music, Peter Moyo, failed to live up to his billing.
Despite the sympathetic following he inherited from his father Tongai who passed on late last year, the young man failed to do justice to the trust of multitudes of Utakataka Express fans.
Before him, Sulumani Chimbetu, Diana Samkange and Munya Mataruse had performed well.
Selmor Mtukudzi and husband Tendai Manatsa also gave revellers a good run for their money with a well-presented set.
Other musicians who played at the bash included Willom Tight, Ex Q and Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave.
Characters like Eric “Piki” Kasamba and Mono Mkundu were also prominent throughout Tuku’s performance.
Sungura ace Alick Macheso, who entertained the crowd for another three good hours till dawn, signed off the party. He appeared to be the right choice of the closing act as he kept the audience on its feet all the way.
Chairman of Jazz 105, William Shamu, who was one of the organisers of the bash, said the show was a success.
“I think this model should be used as the yardstick of what our shows and festivals should be, especially in reference to the Winter Jazz Festival which is in dire need of a growth plan,” he said.