Mbira songstress Chiwoniso Maraire and Afro-jazz maestro Victor Kunonga wowed fans at 7 Arts in Harare at the weekend with a spectacular top-drawer joint performance that attracted approximately 500 people.
The show nearly fell apart after one of the organisers, Easy Ticket, pulled out at the last minute and an advert to cancel the show appeared in a local newspaper paper. It however went on smoothly, living up to its top billing with Chiwoniso and Kunonga producing a first-class stage performance.
“I just drove into town today from Mvurwi, and when I was about to leave a friend informed me about the show. I decided to come, and what a refreshing and unexpected blast it was,” said a fan during a break in the music show dubbed “True African Vibe Concert”.
Chiwoniso and Kunonga collaborated on about eight songs. Chiwoniso and her band, Vibe Culture, did the first set for an hour during which Kunonga joined her on stage to add his own delightfully elegant twist to the mbira star’s most popular tunes.
Soon afterwards, Kunonga and his band, Peace, performed their own set to which Chiwoniso periodically brought her brand of magic.
The collaboration brought magnificent stage presence and electrifying chemistry between the two music legends.
A mbira band consisting of four children from St Giles, Stitches, opened up the show with a warm and touching performance that left the audience crying for more.
If anything, the show proved that it is possible to hold local shows with an essence that could match any other in the world.
It appeared as if nothing was left to chance from the stage design and artistes’ costumes, sound system to the security management, publicity and marketing.
Sofala Entertainment CEO and manager to both Chiwoniso and Kunonga, Tsungi Zvobgo, said: “This is only the beginning. It took a lot to make the show work but it’s a privilege to work with Chiwoniso and Victor because they understand what it takes to raise the bar and extend themselves to providing a truly memorable experience beyond the norm for Zimbabwean audiences. Look out for much more to come.”