“THE stadium was filled to the brim and the performers were really inspired. When I went on stage, I felt like I was drowning in a sea as people cheered me up. Everything was electric and I am told I performed like I was possessed. It was like a dream. I love Zimbabwe.”
By Entertainment Reporter
This was South African musician Freddy Gwala’s statement as he recalled his best show in Zimbabwe when he shared the stage with countrymen Soul Brothers and local legend Thomas Mapfumo at Babourfields Stadium in Bulawayo in 1994.
Speaking in a telephone interview from his South Africa base, the Amadamara hit-maker said his fans and fellow musicians in Zimbabwe had been pivotal in his rise to fame hence he had always wanted to give something back to the country’s music community.
The musician, who is expected in the country today, has expressed willingness to assist upcoming artistes in the country as a way of paying back for the support he has received from Zimbabweans throughout his career.
“I am short of words to explain how I feel about artistes and music fans in Zimbabwe,” Gwala said.
“I would not have been this famous without the support from you guys. At the peak of my career, Zimbabwe was my favourite destination for shows and over the years I have missed those good old days when I performed in Zimbabwe. I am grateful for the glory Zimbabweans bestowed upon me and it is now my time to offer something to them.
“You know, in this music industry it is not enough to just perform for people that love you so much. You have to do something for them. I will be assisting young Zimbabwean musicians for free. One day, I will be happy to point at one or two successful Zimbabwean artistes and say ‘I helped them realise their dreams’. Only then would I be satisfied that I have done something for Zimbabwe.”
Gwala, who assisted raunchy dancer Beverly “Bev” Sibanda come up with her debut album titled Tapinda, is expected to grace the launch of the new release at City Sports Bar tomorrow.
The SA musician wrote a song and assisted in the production of the whole album. He is also expected to work with Bev on the production of a DVD.
He said he would want to impart his experience to young artistes to prepare them to face the challenging music industry.
“I will teach the young artistes about perseverance. This industry is so challenging and a lot of young artistes give up when they face difficulties. It needs patience to make it. I will teach them to work towards their breakthrough despite the challenges.
“I will also teach them about humility. Some musicians become big-headed when they have fame and success. That has cost many musicians internationally, but I am glad Zimbabweans have a good example of humility in their successful musician Oliver Mtukudzi. If all could be taught to be humble, they would realise that fame is easy to handle.” Gwala highlighted he would also emphasise on the need to produce quality music in terms of sound, arrangement and creativity.