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The Mtukudzi tribute show- A well-executed send-off

By: Kelvin Chiringa

A contingent of Namibian and Zimbabwean artists brought down the lights at the Warehouse Theatre this past weekend at a massively attended Oliver Mtukudzi tribute show.

The joint opened its doors on Friday by 1700hrs and in no time, celebrated Zimbabwean born Djembe drummer, Slickatie mounted the stage with a fully powered band and backing vocalists before diving into Tuku’s decades-old all-time hits.

The entire show got hijacked by an exhilarated audience which sang in unison, united by the power of the Tuku sound and the emotion of loss.

The Katekwe legend breathed his last in a Zimbabwean private clinic after a long battle with illness, plunging the world into mourning.

His own people declared him a national hero and his family whisked him away from a possible burial at heroes’ acre to the village.

As many countries lined up shows of commemoration soon after his passing, it seemed Namibia came out a little late.

The tribute brought to the fore one of the most memorable performances witnessed so far.

This time, Warehouse was star-studded.

The carnal expectancy that built up as the show drew close was almost palpable and the crowds that turned up filled the theatre to capacity.

Jackson Wahengo brought the fury of his fast-paced sound which was chopped to bits and pieces by his dangerous guitar as he belted ghetto songs of struggle and survival.

Flourishing a Zimbabwean flag and strumming his guitar like a mystical freedom fighter, he blew the hearts of many as he drifted into an old-time ballad Yave Nyama Yekugocha.

Slickatie’s band intermittently jumped on stage dishing out a variety of some of the internationally celebrated tunes off Tuku’s 66 albums.

By the time multiple-award winning crooner, Elemotho Mosimane rocked the stage, the entire event was booze and sweat as bodies gyrated to the throbbing rhythm of the African heartbeat.

He gave a beautiful performance as his voice pulsated into the night in carefully selected Shona words and everything turned exquisite, exotic.

As the night thickened out over Windhoek, it was clear that the irresistible power of music had brought a uniting force between Zimbabweans and Namibians who went wild to their all-time favourite, “Todii”.

It was when Slickatie introduced reggae behemoth Ras Shehama that screams shot up to the skies.

His imposing presence was enough to escalate the chaos.

As he dangerously bellowed into the mike in a rich accentuated patois, it was clear that he would crown the event to pass as one of the best so far for 2019.

He brought out some of his old-time tunes and pulled an enthralling Lucky Dube rendition, “Back to my roots” which sent beer mugs spilling.

The tribute eternalised Tuku and demonstrated the love he drew from this side of the continent.

Kelvin Chiringa

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