Home » Arts & Culture » Memorable Events of 2014

As the year ends, it is time to take stock of musical events that made the headlines in 2014.

January

Zim Dancehall, a new music genre featuring new artistes such as Tocky Vibes, Shinsoman, Seh Calaz, Jiggaz, Quornfused, Terminator, Platinum Prince, Ricky Fire, Ras Pompy, Killer T, Soul Jah Love, Jah Child, Cello Culture, Dhadza D, Lipsy, Tipsy, Kinnah, Tally B, Lady Squanda, Bounty Lisa and many others were threatening to take the Dancehall title away from established artistes like Winky D, Sniper Storm and Guspy Warrior.

We were so used to clicheacute’s like “MaNinja” from Winky D, but Zim Dancehall artistes gave the Zimbabwean language a new vocabulary. Words like “Popopopopo” from Killer T, “Mawayawaya” from Shinsoman and “Chibaba-baba Chacho” from Soul Jah Love became musical themes of the year in Zim Dancehall circles.

February

On February 15, the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) ceremony took place at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo where Jah Prayzah scooped four awards in the Best Song, Best Album, Best Male Musician and People’s Choice categories and Olivia Charamba won in the Outstanding Female Musician category.

March

This is the month in which Daves Guzha of Rooftop Promotions and Ray Mawerera, editor of Parade Magazine came up with the idea of establishing Wene Music Awards. Paul Brickhill was appointed its chairman while Nigel Munyati, Debbie Metcalfe and Joyce Makwenda became its board members.

The thinking behind this formation was an attempt to correct the failures of the NAMA awards and to offset the complaints made by many musicians about NAMA.

April

On the 3rd of April, the much anticipated “Kuma Bhebhi” concert organised by Cindy Munyavi and Claire Nyakujara proved to be a big flop when the two female dancehall artistes billed for the show, Lady Squanda and Bounty Lisa failed to turn up at the Book Cafeacute.

On the 16th of April, Jah Prayzah and his 3rd Generation Band launched his “Kumbumura Mhute” album at the Harare International Conference Centre. The occasion was graced by prominent musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Charma Girl of Culture Spears from Botswana, Sulumani Chimbetu, Ammara Brown, Maskiri,Shinsoman, Albert Nyathi and Kinnah. Tourism minister, Engineer Walter Mzembi and Honourable Simbaneuta Mudarikwa were also present. The Harare International Festival Of the Arts’ annual event whose theme for this year was ‘Switch On’ opened on the 29th of April and ended in an anti-climax on the 5th of May as its closing act, Freshly Ground from South Africa, was deported by the authorities

May

The Alick Macheso saga with estranged wife, Tafadzwa Mapako began. In the same month, Alexio Kawara was involved in a car crash coming from a gig in Chinhoyi. He was not injured. This followed another accident of December last year where he was hospitalised after being hit on the right leg by a car.

June

The Annual Zimbabwe Suzuki Group Concert was held at the Harare International School. It featured violin and cello performances by students. The guest artiste for this year’s event was mbira player, Hope Masike.

The Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival which featured dancers from all of Zimbabwe’s provinces also took place.

July

The international participants of Umoja Flying Carpet exchange programme, most of whom were aged between 15 and 18, were denied entry into Zimbabwe due to the unavailability of police clearance from their countries. This was a new rule which was imposed by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and was soon withdrawn after these youngsters had already been deported.

The entourage that was denied entry included 16 South Africans, 13 Norwegians and 15 Mozambicans.

August

This is the month in which Shepherd Mutamba began to serialise in the Daily News his purported ‘Back Stage’ book on Dr Oliver Mtukudzi which he said he had been given permission to write by Tuku himself. Dr Mtukudzi denied this and threatened to take legal action. The book, which was supposed to be out by December, is still not yet out. This was Tuku’s response to all this:

“I have been reading with great dismay the excerpts from a so-called ‘biography’ of me by Shepherd Mutamba who used to work with Tuku Music as a documenter for our website and other publicity materials.

About two years ago Mutamba came to me and told me that while he was working for us he has been simultaneously writing a “biography” about me, and wanted to publish it. I was taken aback as he had never mentioned this to me before, but I said to him that if he was going to publish a book based on intimate information he acquired in confidence, during conversations with members of my family and team, he needed to give it to me first. He agreed to this and said he would bring the manuscript to me when it was ready.”

Something went wrong here.

September

The Shoko Festival which began on the 8th of September featured mainly hip-hop artistes this year. Last year it honoured the late Chiwoniso Maraire and also featured Jamaican conscious reggae artiste, Tony Rebel as well as South African poet, Masai Dabula together with several comedians.

The Intwasa Arts Festival which is held in Bulawayo annually was held in this month for five days. It ran under the theme “Unforgettable” as Intwasa celebrated its 10th anniversary. It featured poetry, dance, theatre and music. Among prominent artistes was dith WeUtonga Katiji.

October

On the 3rd of October, we received the sad news of the death of Paul Brickhill, musician, entrepreneur and owner of the Book Cafeacute who died from cancer.

The following week, the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival organised by Delta Beverages was held at the Glamis Arena. It featured many local artistes as well as the South African group, Uhuru.

Konshens, a Jamaican reggae artiste who had been billed to perform at the same event did not turn up allegedly due to Ebola scare. In the same month, The Sunset October Beer Festival organised by music promoter, Biggie Chinoperekwei, saw several artistes performing at the Sunset Arena over a two-day period.

It proved to be a memorable event which gave the Lion Lager beer festival a run for its money.

The Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) ceremony which had been postponed earlier, finally took place on the 29th October. Tocky Vibes scooped the People’s Choice award while other winners included Soul Jah Love, Sulumani Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah. The biggest winner was Comrade Chinx who received the keys to an incomplete house from the organisers.

November

This was the month in which dozens of fans were injured at the City Sports Centre in Harare during the “Sting” Dancehall show after artistes Seh Calaz and Soul Jah Love allegedly fought on stage, leading to a stampede after police fired teargas to disperse the crowd.

This could also be called the month of non-performances. First, it was the cancellation of American singer, John Legend’s All For One show which was scheduled for the Harare International Conference Centre. Legend, however gave a brilliant performance in neighbouring South Africa.

This was followed by the proposed African tour of Jamaican artistes who included Morgan Heritage.

To make matters worse, Dr Oliver Mtukudzi who had been invited by UK based Y2K promoters to give performances in the United Kingdom, failed to go as the visas to that country came rather late.

December

On the 19th December, the Harare Family of God Church Choir led by Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe launched the album “Ruoko RweNyasha” at Ster Kinekor Cinema in Harare. The choir led by director, Elizabeth Masasi, gave a spellbinding performance on the night.

On the same night at the HICC, the much awaited Harare Lock Down concert featuring award-winning South African duo, Mafikizolo, Alexio Kawara and living music legend, Oliver Mtukudzi, lived up to its billing at the jam-packed venue.

However, Tocky Vibes who was also on the same bill, proved that he still has a lot of growing up to do when he failed abysmally to deliver after the performances of musical giants, Alexio Kawara, Oliver Mtukudzi and Mafikizolo.

These are some of the musical events that came to my notice in 2014. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

See you next year!

Feedback: fzindi@hotmail.com

Source : The Herald

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