Thomas Mapfumo gives “a performance of a lifetime” in Joburg

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Pretoria: US-based multi-award winning Zimbabwean musical icon Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo thrilled his legion of Joburg fans on Saturday night, before turning his sights on another highly-anticipated performance scheduled for Sunday in Pretoria.

Flanked by his Black Spirits band, Mukanya, 76, gave “a performance of a lifetime” at the Newtown Music Factory [formerly Baseline], with supporting acts – South Africa-based musicians Enoch “Nox” Guni, and Darlington Tanganyika with his Journey Band also holding their own against the international artist, according to Joburg-based freelance journalist Nomazulu Moyo.

“I think the fact that music lovers have been locked up for a prolonged period due to Covid-19 restrictions made the show even more fun. We haven’t been out in a long time and everyone was glad to finally attend a show, and luckily it turned out to be a legend’s show,” said Moyo.

“It was one the best performances I’ve ever seen in a long time. The Baseline venue was fully packed. In Ndebele we say bekungena ndawo yokubeka unyawo [the venue was full]. The people I spoke to said they wished the show could continue until 4am but it couldn’t happen because the Covid-19 restrictions were respected.”

Mukanya’s manager Sam Mataure on Sunday expressed gratitude to the “energetic crowd” in Joburg.

“We would like to say a big thank you to the Joburg fans. These were people of different races and from different walks of life. They were singing along to each and every song. The energy was outstanding. The atmosphere was electrifying,” said Mataure.

He said due to the considerable demand, talks were already under way for another show in Joburg before Mukanya returned to his base in US.

“For now it is only shows in Joburg and Pretoria. We are also considering performances in Joburg and Cape Town because of the demand we are getting right now. Due to public demand, another show might be held again at Baseline. On this tour, Mukanya is trying by all means to reach out to his legion of fans,” said Mataure.

“There are shows planned in other African countries like Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. Next year as well, we have shows lined up in countries including the UK, Australia. We are also observing the Covid-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe too. Mukanya would like to do a big show there alongside his friends like Alick Macheso and other young artists.”

The South African tour is hosted by music promotion company, One Love Movement Events and sponsored by Diaspora Insurance. One Love Movement Events co-owner, Ashton “Ashaz” Mutuvha said a bigger crowd was expected in Pretoria.

“In Pretoria, Mukanya will be supported by DJ Mytee Dolla and DJ Stramma,” said Mutuvha.

Tanganyika, looking forward to another show alongside Mukanya in Pretoria, said the iconic musician should be applauded for giving upcoming artists a lifeline.

“Performing alongside Mukanya is a great platform for me. I also want to thank the promoters for giving us this opportunity, I am sure they can see that we are following in the footsteps. We need to take the baton from icons like Mukanya, remember we have already lost another icon in Oliver Mtukudzi,” said Tanganyika.