Godwin Muzari Arts Editor
It was a befitting tribute. Top and upcoming musicians came together to honour the late Sam Mtukudzi with exciting performances at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton on Friday night.
It was an event to mark six years after the death of the musician who had great potential but perished in a car crash with friend and fellow artiste Owen Chimhare on March 15, 2010.
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It was indeed a night to celebrate as thousands of music fans thronged Pakare Paye and the musicians took them through a memorable journey of song and dance.
Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Suluman Chimbetu, Gary Tight, Prince Edward Jazz Band, Soul Finders and Pakare Paye Arts Ensemble took turns to celebrate the life of a young man who inspired many of his peers through insightful lyrics.
There was a special slot for renditions of Sam’s songs that featured acapella versions from Soul Finders and cover versions from Gary Tight.
The slot, which lasted for about three hours, was a celebratory sect that also saw Tuku joining the groups on stage.
It could have been an emotional part of the show but the musicians handled it well and made sure that fans celebrate with them.
The peak of the slot expectedly came with the final song that Gary and Tuku did.
It was a rendition of the song “Mweya(Famba Zvakanaka)” that is probably Sam’s best composition that apparently foretells his death.
It is a song that intercedes for a soul of a deceased young man to have a safe journey to the second world.
Gary and Tuku did the song in an exciting act and were joined on stage by other musicians.
Even Sam’s mother Daisy went on stage for the song and organisers made the special moment more exciting when fireworks suddenly illuminated the sky.
Revellers were taken by surprise as the fireworks lit the sky. It was a special moment and befitting honour to Sam.
Before “Mweya” Gary had done songs “Amai” and “Ishe” with Tuku to the delight of the fans. Gary was on top of his game as he expertly delivered Sam’s renditions for songs that include “Chii Chanetsa”, “Ngwara” and “Ndakura”.
Gary should be applauded for being well up to the task of doing the renditions and saluting Sam.
Tuku also did his songs after the Sam sect and mesmerised fans with an unforgettable act.
Also rising up to the occasion was Sulu whose act kept the crowd on their feet. Despite being let down by sound engineers, Sulu did his best.
Jah Prayzah, who usually dons military regalia with his band, came dressed in all-white and reminded people of outfits on his “Hello” video.
The song and “Mwoyo Wakaoma” were popular with fans,
Macheso put the icing on the cake with spectacular act. Usually, revellers leave show venues around 4am but on Friday they had to wait for Macheso who is now the point of focus because of his new album “Tsoka Dzerwendo”.
He began with a new song “Munyaradzi” and the fans went wild. He mixed old and new hits and took fans to a lovely Saturday sunrise as his act ended after 6am.
In an interview after the show Tuku saluted fans and fellow musicians for honouring Sam.
“It shows that he was a man of the people. It was his show and we are happy that people have come in numbers to celebrate his life,” he said.