The Jeys Marabini show held last Saturday night at the Bulawayo Theatre was an audacious move, considering that the ticket price was pegged at $10 per head! The risk loomed large that revellers would not turn out.
Entitled Acoustic Aesthetics: an intimate audience with Jays Moraine, skeptics would have been eagerly watching to see how things would pan out for Bulawayo’s well known music brands in Jeys Marabini.
Foreign acts such as Oskido charge those high entrance fees. Let it be stated for the record that Oskido himself, the house music legend, comes along annually on December 27 with a coterie of established South African music brands for the same $10 entrance fee charged by Jeys Marabini.
In this economic climate, one would imagine that money was too tight to mention, but the audience proved that notion wrong.
The show on Saturday night that went beyond the planned two hours proves Marabini’s prowess. Asked about the logic behind charging $10 for the show the manager responded tongue-in-cheek, “Choppies bread is 60 cents. Bakers Inn is $1 . . . You don’t go to Bakers Inn and tell them to reduce so you can eat their bread!”
Chikomo added “Jeys is worth it. When one pays for an artiste you are not paying for their presence only but their time in practice. We attracted the people we want. We have to build around that audience hopefully by doing regular shows.
“We are thankful to the few corporates that sponsored and hope to get more support. We are glad our fans assured us that they are together with us. We have confidence in our fans as a lot of shows were happening around the city. We are now finishing the new album and working on building the brand through audience building, marketing and collaboration.”
Dapperly dressed in dashiki complete with the kind of head gear donned by our West African brothers, the artiste and his eight-member band Kozekulunge (whose costumes also had an Afro-centric colour theme) thrilled the Bulawayo cosmopolitan crowd.
During the show there was an emotional moment. An audience member was touched by the song Marabini dedicated to his late parents who died in a car accident. In reaction to the song, the audience member climbed onto the stage to hug the artiste.
Stand out moments had members of the audience organically hopping on stage to dance with the artiste several times.
Marabini was sweating whilst strumming away at his acoustic while the three backing singers, including Dumi, Ashley and Nyari, dressed in black tights with chitenje cloth draped over their shoulders Nehanda/Venda women-style. They sang and danced along with Marabini during his sizable catalogue of hits including Isilo, Khumbul’ ekhaya and classic Julia.
Other stand out moments were when Jeys and his lead guitarist had a musical back and forth in which Marabini would sing and the lead guitarist would respond with his guitar. They fed off each other’s energy. — www.zimbojam.com