It is nearly time again for the annual Pakare Paye Solo Festival held here every December 22nd and preparations are on course for what promises to be a much bigger, much better and entirely fabulous day.
Pakare Paye Arts Centre has hosted the solo festival, covering diverse performing arts, since 2006 and the event has evolved yearly growing in stature and splendour as many young artists and the more established ones came on board.
Fans have keenly followed the solo fest and all the reason why we are putting on a multiplicity of genres again to savour and have fun on a festive day preceding the Christmas holidays.
As the fest grows its thrust has not changed, remaining fundamentally driven by Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s desire to help expose more widely, promote and help artists build individual confidence when they perform solo. Mtukudzi is the festival artistic director and executive producer.
Ultimately, the solo fest enriches and nurtures self-confidence while growing the artist into a versatile, multi-talented and multi-purpose performer.
Festival director Watson Chidzomba has unveiled the solo fest line-up this year as: Oliver Mtukudzi (guitar – vocals), Alick Macheso (bass guitar- vocals), Victor Kunonga (guitar- vocals), Freddy “Kapfupi” Majalima (comedy), Winky D (vocals), Charles Chipanga (marimba- vocals), Steve “Dhongi” Makoni (guitar – vocals), Bob “The Headmaster” Nyabinde (guitar – vocals), Sebastian Magacha (vocals), Chirikure Chirikure (poetry), Sulumani Chimbetu (guitar – vocals), Mathias Julius (dance), Vimbai Zimuto (mbira – vocals), Phillip Tsikirayi (mbira & percussion), Kuda Ndoro (dance), Munya Mataruse (guitar – vocals), Poda Muriwa (guitar – vocals), Donald Kanyuchi (harmonica), Jackie Nyamutumbu (marimba), Martha Badza (percussion), Wakile (banjo), Simba Mutanga (marimba), Faith Muzondo (dance) and Watson Chidzomba Jnr (drums).
For the first time the Solo Fest is receiving support enabling us to fulfil our mandate and host a fairly prestigious celebration of the arts.
SPAR is our major sponsor. NewsDay, an exciting new daily newspaper, is the official media partner.
We have other kind supporters like Chipaz Promotions, Tuku Music and Harare Jazz Festival.
The daily will run a quiz and give away a whopping 100 tickets to lucky readers to attend the festival.
The festival is rebranded this year under the name SPAR Solo Fest Pakare Paye.
Says Evan Christophides, national chairman of the SPAR Guild of Grocers: “SPAR slogan in Zimbabwe is instantly and universally recognised.
Our pay-off line ‘good for you’, as everyone will agree, reflects SPAR’s great products, its clean, well-stocked, nationwide supermarkets and its investment in the arts and communities across Zimbabwe.
SPAR has come forward this year with Pakare Paye Arts Centre to bring the SPAR Solo Fest Pakare Paye to life in 2010. SPAR had already joined forces with Oliver Mtukudzi this year to create awareness of Childline’s Freephone number 116 and this featival continues SPAR and Tuku’s strong alliance. SPAR strongly believes in the development of Zimbabwean talent and the SPAR Solo Fest Pakare Paye is a perfect showcase of this talent.”
Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of NewsDay, head of marketing Linda Mhlanga said: “NewsDay is proud to be associated with Tuku Music for the 2010 Solo Fest that will feature the best of Zimbabwe’s talent all under one roof.
We believe that there are shared values between NewsDay and this event which embraces and promotes diversity.
The concert will offer diverse genres of music including gospel, urban groovers, afro-jazz, reggae and will appeal to the young and old.
NewsDay provides ordinary people with diverse views and opinions on a daily basis and we believe that this event has a touch of ‘everyday news for everyday people’ and we are especially excited to be part of an event that promotes Zimbabwean talent.”
Says Mtukudzi: “The idea for the solo fest came about when fans sought to listen to what really the individual artist played by themselves.
When we tried it at Pakare Paye we discovered that some of our local artists were not comfortable performing on their own. It meant the artists were not even confident to be who they are. We are changing this and building a well-rounded artist who is competitive individually.”
This year we have rationalised the festival programme and flow creating the necessary environment for artists to be as creative, powerful and wild on their own, just as they can be in a full band.
Shepherd Mutamba is the director of publicity at Pakare Paye Arts Centre and Tuku Music and the festival first assistant director.