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Macheso outfit in new look

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Alick Macheso has embarked on a restructuring exercise that has given his Orchestra Mberikwazvo band a new lease of life.

The musician has tightened the screws, bringing in new members and strongly warning everyone in the band to be serious or risk being fired.

Positive results of the exercise can be seen in the band’s live show performance which has greatly improved.

Of late Orchestra Mberikwazvo’s stage act had become routine, predictable and monotonous as the dancers and backing vocalists appeared to lack concentration and zeal.

The trio of Franco “Slomo” Dhaka, Jonasi Kasamba and Elton Muropa that has made frontline of the band for a long time has been blamed for offering uncoordinated acts and preferring to show individual skill but that is not the case any more.

Macheso has brought in two more dancers including Selemani Mpichu who has become a serious threat to Franco’s fame. Franco was previously regarded as the best dancer in the group but he has finally found his match.

The band’s dances are now coordinated and, unlike before when band members would compete to show off their designer outfits, uniforms have been introduced.

Macheso has also reportedly told the band that no one is special and it was time for everyone to put extra effort in their roles.

He has also hired former Khiama Boys rhythm guitarist, Fire Nyamunda, to replace Zacharia Zacharia who has gone on leave for medical reasons.

A visit to his show at Magamba Hall in Warren Park last week revealed that the band had taken the new serious instructions seriously.

All were in uniform and the performance was marvellous as the dancers moved in well-choreographed sequences.

There is stiff competition on the frontline because the new dancers are really energetic while the “old horses” are out to prove that they still deserve places in the band.

Orchestra Mberikwazvo assistant manager Jethro Machanja confirmed that it was time for serious business in the band.

“There was lack of competition in the band and the coming in of new faces has changed everything. We want to have the identity of a big band and there is no time to waste. We have bought many sets of uniforms and our set-up has completely changed. Performances will never be the same,” said Machanja.

On Saturday, Macheso will be performing at Charewa Matombo place in Budiriro 2. The new venue, built in all stone, has hosted a number of musicians recently.
Charewa Matombo owner Tsitsi Chitaga confirmed the gig and said Macheso would be sharing the stage with Tryson Chimbetu and Insiza Brothers.

“We are looking forward to a great show. This is a new place but audience response has been encouraging. We have so far hosted Tongai Moyo, Nicholas Zakaria, Kapfupi and First Farai, among others,” she said.

She said Insiza Brothers were now the Charewa Matombo resident band for as she was helping them find their footing and follow in the footsteps of group founder Marko Sibanda.

“Their exposure to big musicians like Macheso will help them nurture their talents. I called Chimbetu for this show because he has been consistent in live shows. Our aim is to give Budiriro fans lasting entertainment value. Very soon we will host Oliver Mtukudzi.”

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