BY WINSTONE ANTONIO THE City of Kings and Queens, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Hall 4 to be specific, will this Saturday reverberate to different sounds of famous Zimbabwean and South African gospel music tunes.
Award-winning gospel musician Everton Mlalazi will be celebrating his birthday through a free concert dubbed The Homecoming Birthday Celebration Show.
Mlalazi, a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, will be joined by both top local and South African gospel singers to celebrate his birthday.
South African artistes will touch down at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Friday, a day before the concert.
Among the musicians to grace the concert are Benjamin Dube, Takesure Zamar, Mkhululi Bhebhe, Mai Mwamuka, Vusa Mangena, Pastor Barak and Lorraine Maplanka-Stot.
For the birthday boy, who frontlines The Vine group this will be his debut performance in Bulawayo after performing away from “home” for years.
The soft-spoken Mlalazi told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that the show is for free because he wanted to celebrate freely God-given life.
“It has been a while since I launched my professional career, and this Saturday is very special to me because it’s my birthday and it’s important to come home and celebrate my birthday with people at home,” Mlalazi said.
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“I want us to celebrate the life that God gives us for free together. If anyone has dreamt of watching Mkhululi Bhebhe or Takesure Zama live, cost should not be a deterrent as the concert is free.”
Mlalazi said the response to the concert has been amazing.
“I am told we expect 5 000 people at the concert and I would assume the venue is almost fully booked. I encourage anyone who has not registered for their free ticket to rush to my social media handles and find details for getting their free tickets,” he said.
“For us, music is ministry. This is a way of evangelising, just like how other people evangelise through Bible verses as ministers and pastors, so the concert is a way of giving back to God.”
He added: “Besides celebrating my birthday, the show is meant to praise God ‘for all He has done for us’. I am inviting people to come and celebrate the birthday and also praise the Lord for life.”
The multilingual singer said he was excited because the concert would be a night to remember.
“Counting down to the big birthday. Grateful for life and limb. Above it all, God remains God,” he said, adding that he could not wait to experience a night filled with amazing worship with some amazing people.
“I am excited about this, I am going to be in the City of Kings and Queens come and be with us as we totally surrender ourselves to God the creator. Some amazing ministers of the gospel will be part of this show.”
Mlalazi said he decided to hold the celebrations in Bulawayo because the city held a special place in his heart.
“Although I grew up in Gweru, I am from Nyamandlovu and I had never performed in Bulawayo, my home,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to a successful show.
Mlalazi said to register to get a free concert ticket, one had to visit www.quicket.co.zaand search Everton Mlalazi homecoming.
Mlalazi said he appreciated the support his music has received in such a short career.
- Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto