ENGLISH reggae and pop outfit UB40 featuring Ali Campbell is expected in the country today ahead of its much-awaited Harare concert.
The show, set for tomorrow at Old Hararians Sports Club, kick-started the group’s tour of southern Africa.
Some members of the group return to Zimbabwe having been part of the original UB40 outfit that staged a memorable performance at Rufaro Stadium when they visited the country 37 years ago.
The late Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was part of the acts that warmed up the stage for the Birmingham-based music outfit.
Ngoma Nehosho Promotions, who are behind the concert, yesterday confirmed to NewsDay Life & Style that the British music outfit will land in the country today.
“We are ready and UB40 featuring Ali Campbell is flying into the country on Wednesday (today),” said Walter Wanyanya of Ngoma Nehosho Promotions.
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Wanyanya said the outfit would bring a full band and fans should not be swayed by rumours doing rounds pertaining to the composition of the group.
“Ignore the rumours. This performance is a full band set as you would see it anywhere in the world,” he said.
UB40 featuring Ali Campbell on Sunday confirmed its tour of southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, through its social media platforms.
“Thank you, Pub in the Park, and all those in attendance and what a day for it! Great to be back on the road and next stop is Zimbabwe and South Africa. Big love,” a post on the group’s official Facebook page read.
Over the weekend, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell performed before a full house at Pub in The Park in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in England.
With tickets for most of its South African shows almost sold out, Wanyanya confirmed that local tickets were selling like hot cakes.
He urged fans to buy tickets on time to avoid disappointment.
“We have tight security for your vehicles in and outside the venue. Please bring only the essentials to the show and do not leave any valuables in your cars,” Wanyanya said.
He said senior citizens (65 and above) would have their own seating area and they were free to bring their camp chairs.
“There shall be a full medical team and ambulance service on standby just in case people fall sick from having too much fun,” he said.
Formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England, UB40 has sold over 70 million records to date as the band continues to curate and build on a legacy that dates back to over four decades of the group’s formative days.
The band’s name (UB40) refers to an unemployment benefit form of that time.
They were once the voice of the disaffected youth in the United Kingdom.
UB40 has also achieved considerable international success, having won several awards and topped many charts.
Part of UB40’s discography includes Labour of Love, Signing Off, Rat in the Kitchen, UB40 Live and more.
After the Harare show, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell will fly to South Africa, where they will host shows in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria between May 30 and June 3.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s amapiano star Toss, famed for his chart-topping hit track Umlando, is also billed to perform in Gwanda and Bulawayo as part of Africa Day celebrations.
Toss, who is a new voice in Mzansi’s music industry, will first perform in the mining town of Gwanda on the eve of Africa Day at the Phoenix Tshisanyama before taking his act to Palace Hotel on Africa Day.
In Gwanda, Toss will be supported by Mzoe7, Mtkay Ntwana, Blvck Operator and Sida, while at the Palace Hotel, he will share the stage with DJ Mandoza, Keitho and Jaiva.
Some of Toss’ hits include Manca, Khuluma Imali, Gucci Day, Sosha and Umlando, which hogged the limelight with its groovy beat and accompanying dance moves which broke the internet as fans joined the dance challenge.
One of the concert organisers, Dee Nosh, promised fans a night of dance and setting of trends.
“It is the first time Toss has come down to Gwanda and we promise a night of dance and setting the trends. Umlando dance is trending and let’s celebrate the trends,” he said.
Palace Hotel proprietor Tapiwa Gandiwa said they were ready to give Toss a royal treatment at their “palace”.
“We have had busy weekends lately and we are happy to be hosting the new king of amapiano. Toss is doing very well and we are ready to treat him like a king, here at the Palace Hotel,” he said.