SULUMANI Chimbetu extended an olive branch when he successfully invited his sworn enemy Alick Macheso and cousin Tryson Chimbetu to his new album (Syllabus) launch at Jazz 105 on Thursday.
Report by Silence Charumbira Entertainment Reporter
Sulu and Macheso have not been on talking terms for a long time and the latter’s presence at the launch surprised numerous attendees. Macheso attended together with a host of other musicians who include First Farai, Jah Prayzah, with whom he collaborated on the song Sean Timba, Peter Moyo, Dino Mudondo and Energy Mutodi among others.
Sulu took the opportunity to request for a joint show with Macheso before the end of the year, prompting the later to say it was already planned, much to the applause of the audience.
The launch, probably the best that the country has seen in a long time, was attended by quite a number of socialites, including politicians and musicians.
Politicians and businesspeople including Information minister Webster Shamu, ICT minister Nelson Chamisa, Philip Chiyangwa, Chamu Chiwanza, Tendai Savanhu, among others, were part of the audience. Simon Chimbetu, Sulumani’s father may have created and crafted the dendera genre, but what is certain is that his son has gone the extra mile in reinventing it.
The inclusion of his uncle Allan and the likes of Solo Makore joining other original dendera guitarits like Knowledge Nkoma and Moffart Nyamupindu has ensured that the original feel of the genre is not lost.
Despite the glitter caused by the colourful audience, it was inevitable to notice the abyss that Sulu managed to bridge with the launch, bringing different people from different backgrounds to the same table. The event aside, Sulu has proven to be a master of his own destiny with this album by reinventing the concept of dendera music. There is an enhancement of a jazzy feel that will leave any traditional dendera fan satisfied with the new inventions.
The dominance of the trademark baseline is commendable, but it will not be enough without mentioning the introduction of the acoustic guitar that jells well with the instrumentation.
On the last track, Njiva (Dub) Sulu engaged veteran saxophonist Philip Svosve who has become a permanent feature on the young musician’s work. The lyrics are laden with meaning. The song touches on various social issues which fans can relate to.
Meanwhile, the party continues tomorrow as Sulu celebrates the launch of his fourth album at Megga 1 with a family show.
Proprietor of the joint Ben Mukandi said he was pleased Sulu would be bringing his new offering while it is still fresh.
“This is one of the venues from which he (Sulu) made his fame. He is so popular at Megga 1 that to date, not many have managed to reach the standard turnout that he has set,” said Mukandi.