The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
SKYZ Metro FM boss Qhubani Moyo does not deny that inspiration for this year’s Bulawayo Shutdown gig, the first event of its kind, came from the Kalawa Homecoming concept, but says that the new kid on the block is not here to replace the annual music fete which over the years has been hailed as the highlight of the city’s festive entertainment calendar.
The radio station combined forces with world music giant Universal to deliver the gig, set for 28 December, a day after Kalawa Homecoming, although the latter event is thought to be largely in doubt.
Oskido’s homecoming seems unlikely to take place this year and even if it did, it would be a downsized version dwarfed by the might of Universal Music and Bulawayo’s first commercial radio station.
With Kalawa falling on hard times and the Shutdown assembling an impressive roster of artistes that include Nasty C, Mafikizolo, Winky D, Killer Kau and Demthuda, the gig is now spoken of in the same breath as the famed Homecoming.
“I can’t say that this is a Kalawa replacement. You never know, they might do their gig again in future. We give kudos to our big brother Oskido, who began the whole concept but we’re saying there has been a gap over the last few years. So we’re going to be doing this particular event not this year only, but rather it will be rolled out annually,” Moyo told Sunday Life.
He said with Kalawa’s waning power over the years, they had seen an opportunity to host a gig of their own with similar, if not more, star power.
“We came up with the idea as a way of ensuring that we provide quality entertainment during the festive season. Most people are aware that those dates are dates that we’ve had events by Kalawa. In the past year or two, most people have noticed that they have not been able to do those events and so realising that we saw an opportunity to do something.
“I wouldn’t want to speak too much about Kalawa except to see that clearly we were inspired by that event and we give credit where it is due. But at some stage where there’s a vacuum on one hand and a means and creativity on the other, it is in the interests of the people of the region to continue getting good entertainment. As a brand we’ve said we can use our networks to fill in that gap so that people get quality entertainment,” he said.
Moyo said the idea of holding such a show was the brainchild of a United Kingdom Zimbabwean expatriate who felt that Bulawayo could do with a gig of this magnitude as Kalawa faltered.
“How did this whole idea come about? Like I said it was meant to fill in the Kalawa gap. We have to give credit mainly to a gentleman known as Sja Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean based in the United Kingdom. He is the one who did the preparatory work, put us together and then linked us with Universal Music,” he said.
Universal Music, with a wide array of star artistes at its disposal, was smitten with the idea of having an annual gig in the party mad City of Kings.
“The Universal Music brand is one of the biggest musical brands in the world and they’ve fallen in love with the idea of coming to Bulawayo. They’ve partnered us for this event because they’ve identified that Bulawayo has got a very party active audience that connects well with music from their musicians in South Africa. Most importantly working with Universal is an opportunity for artistes to create links that can help them grown their brands.
“The Managing Director of Universal Music was here two weeks ago with other people from the stable to assess the venue and also to see how we can design the stage work, how we can work on the security system for that day. They’re very much impressed. We’re doing the little paperwork left with the necessary statutory bodies before we begin with the full blown advertising of the gig. This will probably begin next week,” he said.
Moyo said they had come up with their star-studded line-up with the idea of pleasing people of all ages in mind.
“If you look at our line-up, it consists of artistes that appeal to everyone from the young, to the middle-aged and to the older crowd. You have hard hitting rappers like Nasty C, we have a strong line-up of Amapiano and we also have a strong line-up of Afro pop.
“Over and above we have artistes from here that we’re looking to brand together with the international artistes. We have a fair selection of young artistes from Bulawayo that we want to see perform on the grand stage. This is so that they can develop themselves and also we’re working on creating synergies for them with international artistes. This will also be done under the brand of Universal Music who we have on board. We’re aware ZimDancehall is very popular in Zimbabwe and there’s no doubt that Winky D is one of the most popular figures in that genre. So we threw him into the line-up to give it a more wholesome feel,” he said.