East 24, a popular outdoor restaurant in Eastlea, smoothly overrode the challenges they had faced recently to successfully host the Oliver Mtukudzi welcome back home gig dubbed the “Top-Drawer Dollar Show” which confirmed Tuku’s status as Zimbabwe’s master of song.
Earlier, a cloud had been cast over the show following media reports that the restaurant had been closed for operating outside the provisions of their licence, but the matter was quickly regularised, paving way for the much anticipated show to go ahead.
Backed by a streamlined Black Spirits outfit made up of Sam Mataure on drums, Never Mpofu on bass guitar, Namatai Mubariki on congas and her husband Charles Chipanga on marimbas, while providing the backing vocals, Tuku defied the challenges of age to excite fans with occasional energetic dances.
Chipanga occasionally joined Tuku on the dance floor, where they moved together seamlessly in well-choreographed dances, courting the delight of the 300-plus fans who converged at the open-air joint.
Although this was the first time that East 24, with the backing of Huggiez Entertainment, hosted such a high- profile gig, the organisation was almost perfect, with water-tight security for fans and their vehicles.
The organisers outdid themselves in setting up the place for the show, giving fans, who spent the greater part of the show singing along to some of Tuku’s popular tunes, an option of sitting while Tuku entertained them, or just standing and dancing along to the music just in front of the stage.
The solo gig also gave Tuku fans an opportunity to be tantalised by their idol, getting huge dosages of his music without the dilution a supporting artist would have brought.