JAMAICAN musician Kalado, who is scheduled to perform in Zimbabwe at Old Hararians Sports Club on September 13, could be in for an upset if the trend on the Zimdancehall scene is anything to go by.
Kalado will share the stage with several artistes, among them Winky D, Soul Jah Love, Tocky Vibes, Freeman, Lady Squanda, King Shaddy, Dadza D, Guspy Warrior, Shinsoman, Seh Calaz, Ninja Lipsy, Killer T, Kinnah, Empress Shelly, Terminator, Platinum Prince, Crystal, Cello Culture, Maffcat, Magikal, Legend Elly, Maffcat, Killa Trilla and Kay Cee.
The line-up of DJs does not make it any easier with the likes of Digital One Sound, Judgement Yard, MaddUnit Family, AshStyles & Nivek, Templeman & Garry B, MOB Mafia, Champion Sound, Mighty Ducks, Trenchtown and Black Identity poised to steal the limelight.
Since Zimbabwe’s Uhuru celebrations that were graced by Bob Marley in 1980, it has always been evident that there was something musically special about this small country.
Several stars have emerged since then and demanded their fair share of attention from the world at large.
Talk of Leonard Dembo, Simon Chimbetu, Tongai Moyo, Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, John Chibadura, Biggie Tembo and Cephas Karushanga, among many others, who have made their names locally and internationally with their own unique genres.
But more than three decades after the late reggae icon graced Zimbabwean shores, the country has given birth to a new movement coined Zimdancehall.
This new genre, as a result of the movement, has taken the country by storm and caused ripples on every performance stage in urban communities.
To complement this movement, numerous Jamaican musicians have trekked to Zimbabwe to tap into the new-found audience of reggae and dancehall and as expected some of the shows have been sold out.
With experience however, the Zimbabwean performers, the likes of Winky D, Sniper Storm and others, have upped their game and can now cause upsets anytime given the chance.
Foreign artistes have come and returned disappointed with themselves as their Zimbabwean counterparts are now exhibiting some pulsating sets.
Nigerian D Banj and Popcan can sure attest that Zimbabwean audiences do not dance to just anything.
As a result, such shows have been on the decline with audiences getting wiser, saving their hard-earned cash by staying home.
The frenzy has died down and they no longer frequent live gigs by foreigners they do not know.
Luther Malvern Pazvakavambwa of Digital One International, who is scheduled to bring Kalado, said their aim is to affirm Zimbabwe’s position on the international map.
“This is the first of many shows to come,” said Pazvakavambwa.
“We aim to put Zimdancehall on an international level by linking Zimbabwe and the rest of the world musically. After a successful UK Summer Fiesta which showcased seven Zimdancehall artistes, we have decided to bring a similar vibe to Zimbabwe.”
Asked if Kalado was not in for a surprise, Pazvakavambwa said the Jamaican is talented enough to stand his ground.
“Kalado is a talented artiste. He has a lot to offer on the stage, but at the same time we are not bringing these artistes to outshine our local artistes. We want them to put a great show together. This is a platform for our local artistes to prove that they can match anyone else.”
Only time will tell whether Kalado’s handful of well-known hits like Make Me Feel, Bad inna Bed, Badmind a Kill Dem, Nuh Gyal Caan Tear Mi and Perfect Wine, among others will carry the day for him, but what is certain is the Zimbabwean performers never make it easy for anyone on such platforms.
It has happened before and could happen again this September.
Tickets for the show will be selling for $5 for the general entrance while VIP will cost $20.