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Anyone who has visited Capetown in South Africa over the last few years knows better than to leave without visiting a popular Zimbabwean joint, Jimmy Jimalo which doubles up as a restaurant and bar. Located in Long Street, a road that looks like any other during the day but turns into a hub of entertainment at night, the club is popular for promoting Zimbabwean culture.

“Long Street is so lively and hosts a number of clubs. It is more like the centre of the night life in Cape Town. Tourists and locals flock here in search of fun and the clubs dish out the best house and western music,” said one Tadisa Chiwara about the popular street.

However, in the midst of the buzz, there is an alley in the street where the Zimbabwean joint is thriving.

Promoting Zimbabwean music, Zimbabweans of all ages also come each night and the traffic increases during the festive season as they scramble to experience the much missed Zimbabwean music.

A considerable number of non-Zimbabwean patrons also frequent the joint to experience the Zim clubbing culture and the fun goes a gear up on weekends when the hype is up with Zimbabwean artistes performing live at the venue.

According to the brains behind the joint, James McAdams, people in Mzansi are keeping abreast with trends in the local entertainment industry.

In a recent interview with The Herald Entertainment in Cape Town he opened up on what makes the joint tick.

“If you are from Zimbabwe and your name is James, everyone calls you Jimmy Jimalo. That is how that name came about and it was a coincident that I had the same interests with the late James Chiyangwa who is the original Jimmy Jimalo,” he said.

The Kwekwe-born entrepreneur said he was keeping his late namesake’s legacy alive by actively promoting Zimbabwean artistes in the entertainment industry.

While his Jimmy Jimalo joint has been in existence for the last three years he is no newcomer in the entertainment business.

Having worked with legend Thomas Mapfumo in the late 1990s he has since created a bond with many more Zimbabwean artistes that he affords opportunities to expand their territory in Zimbabwe.

“I have hosted so many artistes like Oliver Mtukudzi, Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Sulu and even Chris Brown’s band members when they came to South Africa a few years ago. I have also created bonds with the likes of Shinsoman, Soul Jah Love, Peter Moyo, DJ Stavo, Killar T among others. I am all about uplifting the Zimbabwean brand in whatever I do,” he said.

The restaurant part is also active during the day and serves mostly Zimbabwean dishes and drinks, trotters being their specialty.

On future plans, the well-travelled Jimmy Jimalo said he was relocating to Zimbabwe.

“I have engaged business people back home and I plan to work towards bringing international artistes to Zimbabwe using my contacts in the United States. This will not only boost the entertainment scene but allow locals a chance to share the stage with those with international acclaim.

“The near future however sees me opening a bigger Jimmy Jimalo branch in Cape Town as a way of meeting the demand of Zimbabwe entertainment here,” he said.

He is set to venture into hospitality and transport industry.

Source : The Herald