LOCAL music fans showed love to Congolese rhumba artiste Koffi Olomide, as they turned out in numbers for his concert at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Saturday at a time the country is still under a cloud following the disputed July 30 elections.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The Loi hitmaker performed in the country few days after there was subsequent shooting of protesters in the Harare central business district that forced police and the military to cordon off the concert venue after MDC Alliance supporters threatened to invade it as it was also serving as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) command centre.
Despite the unstable political situation, concert organisers Sound Blaze Productions continued with plans for the concert show from its initial date (Friday evening) to Saturday night, having evaluated the situation amid claims that the military was brutalising residents in Harare.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style on the sideline of the show concert Sound Blaze Productions representative Calisto Murawo saluted fans who attended the concert for their unwavering support.
“With some violent scenes being reported in some parts of urban areas, we were pleased with the turn out for the show as Zimbabweans showed love to us and the artistes who performed, by coming in their numbers for the violence free concert,” Murawo said.
“The show went on smoothly as there was not any form of violence witnessed, which is something that must be appreciated by all peaceful music fanatics.”
In the midst of his performance, the veteran rhumba star also thanked fans for attending the shows, saying he had missed them to a point where he had to sacrifice travelling in order to perform in the country despite it being just a few days after the elections.
“I had missed you my Zimbabwean fans, so I made sure that I even come to perform for you just a few days after the elections was prepared to face problems that could be faced after elections.”
Olomide’s performance, which was backed by his 24-member band was, however, met with mixed feelings as some of the fans felt that he had not performed to expectations, apportioning blame on his aged female dancers who failed to impress.
For some of his loyal fans it was however, a different hymn as they could be seen singing and dancing along to some of his popular songs like Loi, Ultimatum, Papa Plus and Selfie throughout his two-hour long gig.
Some lucky female fans were invited to join him on the stage as they also showcased their rhumba dancing skills, much to the delight of other patrons.
The 62-year-old king of Tcha Cho, who left yesterday morning, shared the stage with dancehall singer Winky D, sungura maestro Alick Macheso, Leonard Zhakata and Sulumani Chimbetu, alongside wheel spinner L-Roy, who managed to raise their own bars on the stage.