AS the year 2017 curtains draw to a close, there are several activities that happened on the showbiz scene that bring the year to a spectacular end.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
While for some artistes the year will go down as an eventful one, the reverse is true for some.
With few days to close the year, NewsDay takes a look at some of the major highlights on the showbiz scene.
Miss World Zim returns
The country’s flagship beauty contest, Miss World Zimbabwe, made a return this year after it was shelved last year, amid claims that the prospective beauty queens who auditioned had failed to meet the set standards. Chiedza Mhosva was crowned the queen and went on to represent the country at the 67th edition of the Miss World pageant held in China. She qualified for the semi-finals after her Beauty with a Purpose project focusing on cervical cancer where she taught the Doma girls in the Zambezi Valley to manufacture reusable sanitary pads. The project made it into the top 20 of the 112 projects presented at the global pageant.
Taremeredzwa Munzara “arrested”
Top beauty pageant director, Taremeredzwa Munzara, made headlines as he was reportedly “arrested” in Malaysia on allegations of human trafficking after a joint sting operation by South Africa’s Hawks and Interpol. This came after Munzara was implicated in the human trafficking ring by a South African model, Princess Mahlangu who was said to have travelled to Malaysia under the impression that she would participate at Miss United Countries pageant run by him. Munzara later fired a salvo at South Africa’s Police minister Fikile Mbalula as he claimed the arrest was part of a smear campaign to tarnish his image by the South African model
ZTA withdraws pageant license from Barbra
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) withdrew the Miss Tourism pageant licence from Barbra Mzembi, the wife of former Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi. As a result, the pageant did not take place as scheduled.
Jah Prayzah stoned at graveyard
Multi-award-winning musician Jah Prayzah will probably not forget the day he had to run for dear life at Glen Forest Cemetery after some mourners at the burial of his former head of security, Chrispen Nyemba, pelted him with stones under unclear circumstances. The 13-second amateur video of him dodging missiles in movie-style, with some irate mourners charging at him, while others shouted obscenities, circulated widely on social media platforms.
Bev, Andy Muridzo’s sex shenanigans
Raunchy dancer Beverly Sibanda and married contemporary musician Andy Muridzo exposed their alleged sex shenanigans in public. The Sexy Angels’ boss claimed she was impregnated by Muridzo who vehemently denied the allegations of unprotected sex though admitting he once dated the popular dancer. With the accusations and counter-accusations, the nation waited for the duo’s baby, but Bevy later claimed to have suffered a miscarriage.
Anne Nhira, Zodwa Wabantu saga
Famous local actress Anne Nhira popularly known as Vimbai Jari from popular soap Studio 263 once became a public enemy as she torched off a storm on social media after she successfully de-campaigned and lobbied government to ban South African “provocateur” Zodwa Wabantu from performing at the Harare International Carnival. Nhira attracted largely vicious responses on social media as thousands of people lashed out at her, arguing that she should rather have written to the government to address serious issues.
Stunner, Olinda Chapel drama
Controversial rapper, Desmond Chideme, popularly known as Stunner, had his dirty linen exposed to the public by former wife, Olinda Chapel on Facebook. As the drama unfolded, Olinda at one point threatened to commit suicide before they went their separate ways.
Zodwa dupes local promoter
Controversial South African socialite and entertainer Zodwa Wabantu duped local award-winning promoter Biggie Chinoperekweyi of Devine Assignments as she received ‘full payment’ for gigs, but decided not to come for the shows. The Mzansi star on two separate occasions forced Chinoperekweyi to cancel scheduled shows on the 11th hour as she varnished without communicating reasons of her unavailability.
Sulu’s maintenance case
Dendera music maestro Sulumani Chimbetu had a torrid year in his music career spending much of his time at the civil court than in the studio as his former wife, Marygold Mutemasango took him head on, over the upkeep of their two minor children. He was, however, relieved when he successfully applied for the downward variation of the maintenance fees from $800 to $400.
Chaos at Busy Signal’s Byo show
Jamaican dancehall-reggae artiste, Busy Signal failed to perform in Bulawayo this year due to crowd trouble as chaos and mayhem engulfed the show and left some fans nursing injuries after dancehall sensation Winky D had paced off the stage in protest against what he called “poor sound and technical glitches”. The show was part of Busy Signal’s two-day concert at the Southern Africa Music Arts Festival organised by Y2K Promotions.
Fest stutters to life
The inaugural two-day Zimbabwe Arts Festival (ZARTS) launched by director of Bumris Entertainment, Rumbidzai Mudenge was a huge flop and a far cry from what was assured.
With a colourful line-up of performers headlined by the crème de la crème of Zimbabwean music, who are also crowd pullers on their own, among them Winky D, Jah Prayzah, grandee Oliver Mtukudzi and Sulumani Chimbetu, Mudenge was left counting his losses as the festival failed to bring the desired results.
Return of Harare Carnival
Punctuated by performances headlined the half-naked Brazilian girls, the 10-day merrymaking fête which is a mixture of music from African drums to European sounds left hundreds of merrymakers disappointed as it failed to inspire at the highly-publicised Samba Night concert.
No praise at Zimpraise festival
Zimpraise president, Joseph Madziyire’s expedition to host the five-day ZimPraise Choir’s International Gospel and Music Festival during the same week as the Harare International Carnival backfired after he was forced to host the concert for free at the National Sports Stadium. Madziyire had invited a number of renowned preachers among them influential United States preacher and senior pastor of the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, Thomas Dexter Jakes — popularly known as TD Jakes — as one of the main speakers who had to address “empty” auditoriums.
Jah Prayzah celebrates Kutonga Kwaro
Jah Prayzah became an overnight hero and a darling even to sworn haters of his music as many could relate political innuendos in his songs, especially the title track of his album Kutonga Kwaro as it provided the soundtrack to the recent events of the political dispensation, which saw former President Robert Mugabe resigning and being succeeded by then Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Gospel super couple bounces back
After starving their fans for some time without something new to listen and dance to, the gospel music super couple, Pastor Charles and Olivia Charamba had a double launch of their separate albums Abba Father, a nine-track album from the former and Voice of Miriam, an eight-track album from the later.
Hwamanda goes to India
Mufakose-based traditional dance ensemble, Hwamanda Dance Troupe, showcased their dancing prowess at India’s Manipur Sangai Festival as Zimbabwe and the Asian country continue to cement their socio-cultural ties.