THE gigantic Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) is hallowed ground for discerning musicians and they keep their distance from it.
Musicians, who have tried to fill up the gigantic auditorium — including Alick Macheso and Leonard Zhakata — were richly punished for their troubles and learnt the hard way that the HICC can be a tough mistress.
BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
With only superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and the trailblazing Jah Prayzah having taken on the challenge and won, Winky D threw his hat into the ring last Friday and came out victorious, with the colourful launch of his new album, Gombwe.
In the past, Winky D had played in the HICC, albeit only as a supporting act, but his album launch proved he has come of age.
As the man of the show, during which he also celebrated his birthday, Winky D did justice when he outperformed all the supporting acts, taking his fans down memory lane with yesteryear hits that attracted rapturous sing-alongs and dance.
It was a largely youthful gathering of impatient, energetic and outright wild fans that had come for a historic night of unbridled fun.
Most artistes did not get enough time to perform, as the line-up was bloated and while others failed to live up to expectations, Jah Signal’s brief showcase was unmatched, with only Killer T coming close.
South Africa-based guest artiste, Buffalo Souljah, failed to connect with the locals, who seemed unreceptive to his flavour of dancehall.
Throwing about money and tearing his vest and belting his yesteryear hit, Izandla Phezulu, Buffalo Souljah attracted a lukewarm response.
People only warmed up to Buffalo’s collaboration with Kinnah as well as Rugare featuring Winky D.
Kinnah, who tried to manhandle Vigilance drummer in the full glare of fans for testing the sound during his set, also failed to live up to his usual standards.
Mediocrity was the order for Ricky Fire, Boom Berto and Judgement Yard, with a capella gospel outfit, Vabati VaJehovah, charming fans despite being thrust into the largely secular setup.
At 1am on Saturday morning, Gombwe (Guiding Spirit) stepped onto the stage clad in the all-black associated with spirit mediums’ regalia and started off with the tracks Ngirozi and Gombwe.
Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure and one “Chief” Albert Ndabambi placed $40 000 and $30 000 bids, respectively, for the album’s first copy.