The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu ,Sunday Life Reporter
IT all started with a show featuring prodigious South African wheel-spinner Vigro Deep on 16 October at the Umguza Yacht Club.
On that occasion, it was meant to be a party for the vaccinated, celebrating 3D Mduduzi Mdlongwa’s 40th birthday. People came out in their numbers, only a few weeks after the announcement that bars and nightclubs could once again operate legally after almost a year and a half in lockdown.
For the first time since the Scorpion Kings due of Kabza and Maphorisa brought the city to a standstill with an oversubscribed show in January last year, Bulawayo once again played host to an international act.
The Vigro Deep show was rightfully hailed as a success and from that moment on, the floodgates seem to have been opened.
Last month, Major League DJz, a pair of twins that have managed to impressively reinvent themselves from a hip-hop act to Amapiano taste-makers, staged a memorable gig at the Smokehouse in Bulawayo, during an event that seemed to attract some of the most notable names in the social scene from both the capital and the country’s second largest city.
Some might have thought that event was the end, yet it only seemed to have opened the floodgates even wider, with an unprecedented number of acts set to grace the city in the next few weeks.
Only a few months before the lockdowns last year, South African acts seemed to have lost their lustre in the City of Kings, with promoters reluctant to book them because of a number of gigs they headlined failing to take off.
However, the appetite for live shows, which might have been caused by the fact that most people were starved of live entertainment over the last year and a half, seemed to have spurred promoters to put their fears to the side and go for the jugular.
First, DBN Gogo is set to rock Umguza Yatch Club today before Siyathandana hitmaker Boohle serenades the Bulawayo Athletic Club on Friday. Also on the cards are the heavyweight due of Kabza and Maphorisa, wordsmith Focalistic and Blaq Diamond all in December.
Almost all these acts are associated with Amapiano, a genre whose worldwide popularity and influence seems to be growing by the week. The emergence of the genre seems to have reignited Zimbabwe’s love affair with artistes from south of the Limpopo, although it remains to be seen however, if all these gigs will attain the requisite level of success.
“It will all depend on how the people receive the different acts. When it comes to promotion sometimes it all comes to luck and you would not be surprised if some of them flop. But as of now people are craving for live entertainment,” said veteran promoter Marshall “Gesh” Mpofu.