The Sunday News
Sandisiwe Gumbo, Sunday Life Reporter
Award-winning Zimbabwean music maestro, Jeys Marabini is making waves in the United Kingdom where he is proudly sharing the rich cultural heritage of Zimbabwe with audiences across the world.
The tour, dubbed Rhythms of Southern Africa: A Musical Journey, kicked off at Cambridge Junction (Clifton Way, Cambridge) on 4 November and is set to proceed to Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts (Les Ozoutes Road, St Peter Port, Guernsey) on 2 December.
Put together by Farai Shanyai of Shanyai Promotions, the tour brings together some of the best musicians from both Zimbabwe and South Africa, with Marabini set to be joined by Zahara, Tshedi from Malaika, Freddy Gwala, Lady Bee, Ma9nine, Agga Nyabinde and other special guests that are yet to be named.
The musical superstar, who hails from Bulawayo, is proudly spreading the rich cultural heritage of Zimbabwe to audiences around the world. And it’s been one of a ride for Marabini and his band as they bring some serious Zimbabwean flair to their performances. They are not just playing music – they are bringing an experience that is leaving their fans breathless.
An ecstatic Jeys told Sunday Life that the audience reaction has left his heart warm, encouraging them as a bad to continue doing what they know best.
“The experience is amazing, especially the way people appreciate our music, they are amazed with the way we perform our music and the arrangement. Making and seeing people happy is something that you can’t just experience anywhere else. As a musician, seeing people excited for your music shows how the hard work you do pays off,” he said.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the tour is the celebration of Zimbabwe’s linguistic diversity, with Marabini highlighting the beauty of the country’s 16 different languages. This cultural assortment not only lifts the flag high for Zimbabwe but also serves as a powerful representation of the nation’s identity on the global stage.
“Zimbabwean music is unique, it is different from all African music. There’s something special about our music, very cultural with deep roots. Those 16 languages in Zimbabwe make a difference when you go overseas, telling your stories as a musician is exactly what we are doing here, and we’re actually lifting up the Zimbabwean flag overseas. It’s a pleasure to share our music with other people besides our own Zimbabwean audience,” Marabini added.
The music itself has proven to be a unique attracting force, resonating with audiences and leaving a lasting impression. Through their performances, Marabini and his band have succeeded in evoking a sense of longing in people’s hearts.
“Our music gets into people’s hearts, when people see us perform they definitely long and wish to visit our country, when people see us they see Zimbabwe, our culture and way of living. Our music promotes humanity, culture and showcase our beliefs as Africans.”
Beyond its entertainment value, Marabini noted that the tour holds significant potential for promoting cross-cultural understanding.
“In world tourism market, we were telling people about Zimbabwe’s special places like Victoria Falls, Matopo, Nyanga and Chimanimani amongst other examples. It helps also the government to market the country in a positive way, when we are outside we are sort of ambassadors in a way.”
The impact of these performances is evident in the sizable audience turnout, with approximately 3000-5000 people attending the shows. This enthusiastic response underscores the resonance of Zimbabwean music and culture with international audiences. Marabini’s tour is not just a personal triumph as it also opens doors for other artistes from Matabeleland.
“This tour opens doors for not only me but also other musicians as promoters will believe in music from Matabeleland because of seeing me as a great musician and representing my country very well. They are impressed with our performances and everything we do here, they’ll definitely want to look for other musicians to give them an opportunity,” he said.
Marabini further revealed that as part of giving gratitude to his fans in Bulawayo, he will be hosting a show at the Bulawayo Theatre on 30 December, a show which he said will serve as a heartfelt gesture of appreciation while offering audiences a glimpse into the remarkable experiences and achievements garnered during the UK tour.