Author Archives: Rob
Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan literally “curtain- raised” for Zimbabwe’s dancehall king Winky D, who got a rapturous applause minutes before he took to the stage. Thousands of fans who thronged the Harare International Conference Centre threw missiles at Popcaan despite a near-sterling act.
Halfway through his performance, the Jamaican was hit by a can of beer and sustained a minor injury on his hand.
One fan stormed the stage in protest and vented his anger on the diminutive chanter.
Despite the mishap, Popcaan continued his act as if nothing had happened, telling his fans how much he loved Zimbabwe and his fans.
Born Andrea Sunderland, the 24-year-old artiste dished out some of his hits like “Fry Yiy”, “Badmind a Kill Dem,” “She A Gwaan Good”, “The System” and “Diss Mi Friend” among others.
To show his love for the fans, Popcaan threw his jacket into the crowd and there was a mini-wrestling contest as everyone wanted a piece of it.
But it was Winky D aka the “Ninja President”, with the backing of a live band, who stole it from the Jamaican star as the “Diss Mi Friend” singer used backtracks.
From the Zimbabwean Herald
5th January 2013 by Blessing Masakadza
Angry revellers threatened to assault pole dancer Beverly Sibanda after she was unable to take to the stage at the Gunners Night Club in Highfield. So angry were the fans that Bev only avoided a beating by escaping through the backdoor.
Speaking through her manager Happers Mapimhidze, Bev said she was having heart problems and so was unable to perform.
Hundreds of people who thronged the joint felt shortchanged and wanted to vent their anger on the dancer.
Bev was saved from the mob by the club bouncers who sneaked her out of the club through the backdoor.
Club manager Charles Mageza had no kind words for the dancer.
“It was bad my man. Why did she come to the club when she was ill in the first place?
“She entered the changing rooms before she suddenly said she was too ill to perform. We were not happy and she started hurling obscenities at us.
“People wanted to assault her and some even tried to force their way into the room where she was sleeping,” he said.
Mapimhidze confirmed the chaos and apologised to the Highfield community for the fracas.
“It was something else – total chaos. We apologise to the Highfield community. She told me that she was ill and that she could not take to the stage.
Reports are that Bev’s camp has refunded the club owners.
From the Observer, Uganda
by Abu-Baker Mulumba, 3rd May 2012
At 20, Musa Kavuma was a manager at Mukoko Coffee Factory in Masaka.
He is proud of this accomplishment because it proves to him that someone does not need to have a degree to be successful; it is God’s providence.
“I went to school at Kibuli Demonstration School, Aga Khan Masaka and Kawempe Muslim but I don’t have any certificate to show; so, I consider myself uneducated,” explained Kavuma.
Although he has other businesses, Kavuma is popularly known as Eagles Production manager and CEO of KT Promotions – the company that organized Lucky Dube’s last show in Uganda.
Joining the music industry…
Kavuma traces his love for music to his school days at Aga Khan, when he used to organize shows at school and earned some money. His peers then started calling him “Mr Money” because he was richer than most of his teachers. After school, John Bosco Kyobe, who was a prominent local artistes’ promoter, asked Kavuma to join the music industry: a decision he is glad to have made.
In 1996, he took on Paulo Job Kafeero as his first client and met Diamonds Production, before it cleaved into two forming Eagles Production.
“In 1997, while at my coffee business in Kinoni, Masaka, I was officially introduced to Diamonds Production. It had singers like Sylver Kyagulanyi, Betty Mpologoma, Martin Angume. They had financial problems and needed help, which I gave in return for a show and I ended up becoming their manager before I joined Eagles in 2003,” he recalled of 1997 – his golden year. He also organized Lucky Dube’s show in the same year.
The following year, Kavuma set the record high when he charged Shs 10,000 for a show that had Essence Kasozi from London, Sarah Birungi and Paulo Kafeero. At the time, people used to pay Shs 3,000 for a show. As manager of Eagles’ Production, which is a group of over 30 artistes, Kavuma tried his hand at organizing big shows after Lucky Dube’s successful show.
He is the man behind big shows like CBS’ Ekitoobero and Bukedde FM’s Embuutu Yembutikizi. He has also ventured into sports; he organized the match between KCC and South Africa’s Super Sport in 2009, which is perhaps the best organized international match Uganda has had in recent years.
“I also organize other events like weddings, parties and I am now a professional events manager and I don’t regret joining the business,” boasts Kavuma, the resourceful businessman.
Because he is an organizing guru, it is not a surprise that he is the brains behind Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine’s Battle of the Champion show tonight at Kyadondo Rugby grounds.
“I met each of them at a time and talked to them separately though my aim of uniting them failed but you never know after the Friday show they may leave as friends,” he said.
It is also his gumption that has seen him succeed when many would cower in fear. For example, Kavuma took a gamble when his promotion company, KT, successfully organized Chris Evans’ Mulungi concert on the same night as Chameleone’s Valu Valu. Owing to that accomplishment, his friends refer to his company as Kavuma Tatya, meaning Kavuma the fearless.
His secret ingredient…
Kavuma has managed musicians for over 12 years and he has come to know them even more than his children.
“My biggest weapon is knowing what everyone wants and keeping everyone’s secret. I can now look at someone and read his or her mind and I deal with them according to their needs. Mind you, I am managing very rich people who need to be handled exquisitely and that is why they love my skills and they are my best friends, like Barcelona players and their departing manager Pep Guardiola,” he explained before stating that he is an Arsenal fan, not Barcelona’s.
However, with rumblings in Eagles Production, Kavuma’s weapon of knowing people has been tested. Word has it that Fred Sseruga threatened to leave the band because of bad management.
“It was very abrupt and we didn’t see it coming but I managed the situation and Sseruga will be on stage sooner than later. People should know that in a family such things happen sometimes, but the way you handle the situation matters and I left the winner though it was a very tough lesson,” he said.
“I don’t regret anything; all my dreams are becoming a reality as I have managed to form sister companies like Mukavu Constructions, Suza Constructions and Pacific Car Bond at Najjanankumbi,” he said.
His only regret is that music and its fame are dying.
“People who started hiring musicians on weddings and other functions are killing our business because people watch them for free. All musicians are now thinking about weddings and while composing songs, they target functions. They are thinking in one dimension, something very poisonous,” said a concerned Kavuma.
He hopes the trend will die out so that they enjoy their business as before. Kavuma was born 40 years ago in Kinoni to Hajji Yasin Lubowa and Haddy Nalwoga. He is married to two wives and has children.
From the Zimbabwe Herald
3rd May 2012
Jazz lovers had a rare treatment of world class performance on Tuesday by renowned Indonesian musician and composer Peni Candra Rini who is in the country for this year’s edition of the Harare International Festival of Arts Rini performed two melodies and left the crowd asking for more.
One of the songs that drew the attention of many people was the hit “Inner Rhythm of Archipelago of Indonesia” on her latest album.
The song was well arranged with pentatonic tunings and was made sweeter with the use of Indonesian traditional instruments known as gamelan and acoustic guitar.
Before performing in Harare, Rini also had another splendid show on Monday evening in Domboshava for a pre-Hifa party.
A university graduate from the Indonesian Arts Institute, Rini has been in the music industry for the past 15 years.
Apart from being a musician, Rini is also a university lecturer at the Indonesian Institute of Arts.
In an interview, Rini said she was happy to be in Zimbabwe and was keen to perform at future editions of Hifa.
“I want to come back to Zimbabwe. This is a very great and famous festival. This is my third time performing at Hifa,” she said.
Indonesian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Eddy Poerwana and other music enthusiasts attended the show.
Rini is one of the few female contemporary music composers and vocalists in Indonesia who performs sindhen, a female soloist accompanied by a gamelan orchestra.
In 2008, she was established as a contemporary composer in a concert entitled “Bramara”, which concluded her post-graduate programme at the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI), Surakarta, Central Java, where she is currently a lecturer.
She is strongly committed to preserving the musical traditions of Indonesia has collaborated with great artistes from within and outside Indonesia such as Rahayu Supanggah, (the late) I Wayan Sadra, Dwiki Darmawan, Al Suwardi, Garin Nugroho, Robert Wilson (New York), Albert Chimedza (Zimbabwe).
Rini has made a musical composition for Gamelan Pacifica at Cornish College of the Arts Seattle (2011) and has joined the performance with group of gamelan Garasi Seni Benawa at Surakarta, Kusuma Laras New York (2011) and Venerable Shower of beauty Gamelan at Portland (2011), among others.
From the Namibian
by Conrad Angula, 2nd May 2012
The Old Chez Ntemba presents a chance for Sungura music lovers to celebrate this highly energetic music genre.
A confident looking Sylvester Simabuli, manager of Old Chez Ntemba, told The Namibian earlier this week that management have set up a Sungura Bash for this coming Saturday, which promises to be a real treat for lovers of the genre.
Topping the bill is Benny Mwanamwali, a popular figure in the Katima Mulilo area, the Nakabolelwa village-born veteran musician, started playing music at the tender age of 15.
“I started strutting a guitar I built from a cooking oil tin. It was not really the perfect way of entertaining people but the melodies coming from my home-made instrument had mesmerising effects on my fans.
“My first song was titled ‘If I Am Right No One Remembers But If I Am Wrong No One Forgets’. I played my first real big gig in 2008 when I backed Zimbabwean artist Simon Chidhuza who inspired me into playing Sungura music,” said Benny.
Despite having been around the music scene for quite a while, it will be Benny’s first gig in the capital.
He will be backed up by Zimbabwean-born Mr Simple, the hip-rolling Navara of Sumunuke, Eugene Kubwima, MaSeven and the popular DJ Siya.
Damage for the show, which is sponsored by Obina’s Palace and Zambezi, is N$50 for normal tickets and N$100 for VIP tickets with the doors opening at 21h00.
From Biz Community, Cape Town
2nd May 2012
The 18th annual MTN South African Music Awards, held on 30 April 2012 at Sun City, has officially crowned the music performers of 2012, with Zahara walking away with six awards.
Zahara sweeps six
Album of the Year – Loliwe by Zahara
Special Award: Best Selling Album – Loliwe by Zahara
Newcomer of the Year – Zahara for Loliwe
Female Artist of the Year – Zahara for Loliwe
Best Collaboration – Zahara featuring Georgy for Incwad’Encane
Best Smooth Urban Music Album – Zahara for Loliwe
Greachen Isaacs of Elsies River, Cape Town also became the first ordinary South African to present the MTN Record of the Year award to Mi Casa for These Streets, after she won the MTN ‘Feel the Fame competition’, along with R180 000 from MTN.
From New Era, Namibia
by Kevin Kamati, 2nd May 2012
From producing music underground, this young man has achieved great success in every frontier he has dared, and has been rewarded artist of the year at this year’s Namibia Annual Music Awards, Namas.
The Northern born artist came to Windhoek in 2000 to attend the Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School where he completed in 2003. Mushe started a home studio the very same year but his work faded from the radar till 2005. “In 2004 I formed a duo with a friend called Names, which went by the name of T2P but which did not gain much success. I continued producing music and turned T2P from a duo’s name into my music label.”
Besides Hip Hop his preferred genre, Mushe also got a lot of Kwaito jobs to produce and in 2006 Exit walked into his studio and Mushe produced two songs for him. “I saw a lot of potential in Exit and wanted to help him. At the time I organised an interview at Base FM with Che “the Goddess of the Airwaves” to give Exit some exposure. Che liked our music so much she suggested that we form a duo as she thought we were good together and call it Exit & Mushe”
After consideration Exit &Mushe were born, with the production part covered under the T2P music label. The duo joined the Blend Production for marketing and administration. Two records later and numerous awards in the bag, Robert their manager under Blend Production came up with a brilliant business plan to tap the duo’s individual talents, creating a bigger fan base and maximising profits. This brilliant plan would see the duo leave Blend Production for an own label.
“Robert wanted to us to produce three albums in one year. Two would be individual albums and the last one would be an Exit & Mushe record. With Exit releasing his solo album, Alpha and Omega, which saw him get individual acclaim. This made it difficult for him to produce an Exit &Mushe album as he concentrated on his solo career. Exit started Rockas.
While Exit released his first album, which Mushe helped produce the studio was getting crowded with new clients with Mushe stamping his name in the Namibian music production industry. Mushe then released his solo Album in January 2011 called Omunangeshefa, with the hit single WumweOtatiKalako featuring Tequila.
The album certified Mushe as a major artist in the industry having sold about 10000 copies since its release to date, telling real stories and carrying a message in his music. Around the same time the media speculated on the duo’s future together and beef between them, which Mushe cleared by saying, “there was no beef or a fight of some sort. Exit was and will always be a brother to me and up to this day we remain close”.
Mushe went on to collaborate with Hella under Hella Production which handles his administration and marketing for the album and him as an artist. This was not his only venture in 2011 but Mushe also started a construction company, a printing company, a bar and has enjoyed massive success as a producer.
Last year saw the local music industry producing major hits with many artists upping their game which in turn saw the Namibian Annual Music Awards (Namas) having fierce competition in every category also pitting Exit and Mushe against each other.
The hard-working plumber attributes his success to hard work and dedication to pursuing his dreams. His hard work paid off when he was crowned the Namas 2012 “Artist of the year” as well as “the best single of the year”. Mushe is still pondering on where to invest his prize money but said he will only know 100% once the money is in his account. But he promises to be an exemplary artist, representing the Namas, his fans and the crown by serving his communities and providing good music for his fans.
“I remember my father asking me what I wanted to become one day and my answer was a business man. I did not know what type of business but I wanted to make my living as a business man as the lifestyle has always fascinated me.”
Mushe’s next album is almost done with the selection of the final songs for the album the only thing left. He plans to expand his businesses and one or two new ventures and creating and producing more hit songs.
Mushe’s advice to the youth is to simply stand up and follow their dreams, to be inquisitive and to ask for help here and there “as the government or any investor cannot help you until you help yourself”.
From The Angola Press
1st May 2012
The Angolan singer Elis Diakumuezo received Monday in Luanda his first professional card from the hands of the Angolan vice president, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, Angop witnessed.
On the occasion, the singer expressed his satisfaction with being the first to receive the card issued by the National Association of Artists and Songwriters (UNAC) for the dignification of the Angolan creators.
Speaking to press, he said that the award of the card to artists is an open way for other complementary actions.
Meanwhile, the head of UNAC’s commission, Manule Arnaldo Calado, said his institution has decided to institutionalise the April 30 as the National Artist Day in Angola.
From the Zimbabwe Herald
by Fred Zindi, 1st May 2012
Hats off to Manuel Bagorro, Maria Wilson, George Mutendadzamera and the rest of the Hifa team for hosting the 13th instalment of the Harare International Festival of the Arts. This year’s event, which begins tonight, has been dubbed “A Show of Spirit” by the organisers.
Yes, as I said before, the month of April is always an exciting one. Hifa brings a lot of cultural and artistic events, but this week I will concentrate on the exciting musical activities.
Nobody can claim to be going to watch all the events on offer at Hifa as that is almost impossible. Hifa seems to be growing stronger each year.
When a lot of Zimbabwean musicians were scattered abroad in 2008 due to economic hardships, we thought that Hifa was coming to an end, but no, it has gained its momentum and the musicians have all come back to celebrate this once in a year festival.
A host of international, regional and local musicians will perform at Hifa this week.
The opening show tonight, on the Telecel Main Stage, which always gives Hifa audiences pause for thought, is a dynamic cast of local and international performers and is not to be missed.
It will be directed by the founding director of Tumbuka Contemporary Dance Company in what promises to be a moving and memorable night.
This opening show will also be directed musically by the supremely talented Zimbabwean musician, Vee Mukarati.
The audience should get the anticipated thrill of the night.
The rest of the week is filled with different music genres: Opera music from American opera stars, jazz, reggae, sungura, hip- hop, rhumba, Tonga music and finally, Tuku music.
To me, Saturday, May 5 will be the most exciting and busiest day as four acts will be performing one after another, starting with Winky D, an icon of dancehall in Zimbabwe, at the Telecel Main Stage at 1pm.
This will be followed later by Ismael Lo, the famous harmonica playing guitarist, also known as the “African Bob Dylan”, who will also grace the Telecel Main Stage on Saturday.
I am looking forward to that. This is the guy who has revolutionised the traditional sound of Senegal and has made it sound like rhythm and blues which has become very popular with audiences worldwide.
On the same Saturday around 4pm, Chiwoniso Maraire and John Pfumojena will perform at the 7 Arts Theatre. This should be exciting as the two artistes are capable of taking their audience through myriad states of emotion.
Other local artistes billed to perform on different days are Alexio Kawara, Edith WeUtonga, Mokoomba from Victoria Falls who will perform alongside Dutch Gregor Salto from the Netherlands, Ngoma Buntibe Music of the Tonga people, Willom Tight, Hope Masike, Umoja Zimbabwe, Ruzivo, Netsayi Chigwendere, Mariachi Blazer Boys and Kirby Chipembere.
The closing show will be by Zimbabwe’s international superstar, Oliver Mtukudzi, at the Telecel Main Stage.
Other performances to watch are by Liz Ogumbo from Kenya, Tumi and the Volume from South Africa, Sonic Slam Chorus which consists of musicians from Norway, Zimbabwe, Botswana and the United Kingdom.
I am pleased to note that Hifa has become an institution, so have many local artistes who seem to appear at the event every year. Last year I had the opportunity to watch Winky D at the Telecel Main Stage where the three time Nama award winner, “Bigiman”, was performing. The “Ninja President”, who has previously shared the stage with Jamaican ragga artistes such as Sizzler and Beenie Man and Movado, has proved that he is Zimbabwe’s new icon of dancehall.
He has achieved that feat through his inimitable delivery style, lyrical skill and professional showmanship when he performed for one and half hours with a backing band (not CDs) while his fans sang along to the songs of the man wearing a ninjaman belt.
Last year, I also had the opportunity to watch Mokoomba, those boys from Victoria Falls, doing their thing at the Coca-Cola Green Stage and they really moved the audiences.
You could see the one and half hours on stage was not enough for them as they wanted to carry on after their time was up, but such is Hifa, everything works according to time.
So be warned, if you are planning on watching any of these acts, that you have to be there on time, otherwise you will miss out. Hifa is different from the mundane concerts we have attended in some local venues where the advertisement says the starting time is 7 o’clock and the main artiste does not appear until midnight when half the audience is either too drunk to watch the show or are fast asleep.
This is not to say that everything done by Hifa is perfect. Last year, there were some obvious hiccups at Hifa, but this is to be expected at any project of such huge magnitude.
Some enthusiastic security staff and bouncers manning the gates became overzealous and started to own the shows.
For instance, at the 7 Arts Theatre some ticket holders were locked out because they had arrived 10 minutes late.
I overheard one security detail shouting at a man: “It’s not my fault that you got held up in traffic. Come back for a refund on your ticket next week.”
l Fred Zindi is a professor at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a musician and an author of several books on music.