Mannex welcomes Czech Republic friends at Hifa

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Transit Crew lead vocalist Emmanuel “Mannex” Motsi will perform at this year’s Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) work in partnership with a Czech Republic group called Semtam.

Local urban grooves sensation Tererai Mugwadi is also expected to be part of the collaboration as she is expected to play the saxophone on some songs.

Mannex who has led Transit Crew on a number of its reggae adventures including the popular Saturday reggae nights at The Mannenberg will be coming to the festival for the third time after sharing the stage with the late Dumi Ngulube in 2007 and Yasus Afari from Jamaica last year.

He said he was excited because this was not his first time working with Semtam. He collaborated with the group during his sojourn in the Czech Republic in 2009.

NewsDay linked up with Semtam on Facebook and the group expressed its pleasure at being involved in this year’s Hifa.

“We are looking forward to play with Mannex again and this time in his home country and it seems the famous VJ Toy Box will be joining us for this trip and we thank European Commission and Czech Embassy in Zimbabwe for the support,” said Samtam spokesperson.

There is also a statement on the group’s Facebook page that announces the Hifa tour to fans. It reads:

“Semtam is a very lucky dog! We are pleased to announce our first trip to foreign country, and to be original, we have been confirmed to play at the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) in Zimbabwe.”

The group will have two shows at the festival on the Global Stage and Coca-cola Green arena.

Semtam was a studio project that was founded in 2000 but since December 2009, they launched live performances where for their very first show in Prague, they had the pleasure to be joined by Mannex on stage.

Using saxophone, clarinet and flute as their main instruments, Semtam play a variety of modern electronic music styles such as break-beat, dub step, reggae and hip-hop.

Semtam members who will be coming on the tour are Kryštof Koenigsmark who focuses on computers, synthesis, arrangements and Petr Metelka aka Telka, also focusing on computers, beats, bass and sound Koenigsmark, who founded the group, lived in Zimbabwe for two years and on his return to Prague he rejoined the Czech Radio 1 station. He has been working there as a DJ for last 15 years working more progressively on his Semtam project.

Last year the group held seven concerts in the Czech Republic and is planning more tours around the country this year.