Koffi Olomide jets in today Koffi Olomide

Arts Correspondent

Congolese rhumba star Koffi Olomide is expected in the country this morning for his show at Harare International Conference Centre on Friday.

He performed in Zambia last weekend and reportedly left lasting impressions with a memorable act. Koffi is expected to land in Harare at 11am with his 24-member entourage and they will have various tours in the country ahead of the main event on Friday.

Organisers of the show said they are happy to have the rhumba star in the country two days before the event.

“Some people were doubting his Zambia show, but he was there and did wonders. Others were also doubting his show in Zimbabwe and we arranged that he comes early to silence critics. He is landing in Harare at 11am and he will be here for two days. We are planning his tour of the capital and he will meet his fans before the day of the show,” said one of the organisers.

“He last performed in the country three years ago and he is excited about the tour. He was glad after last time’s reception and he is looking forward to a bigger show. His fans are also happy with his return. It is promising to be a historic concert.”

Koffi will share the stage with local acts Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu and Winky D.

In an earlier interview, the local acts promised a memorable concert.

“I have shared the stage with Koffi before and realised there is a thin line between rhumba and sungura followers. I have also performed with various local rhumba groups and we have been able to stand up to all such occasions,” said Macheso.

“It is also good that we have some facets of rhumba in our music and that is why Orchestra Mberikwazvo has Congolese chanters Jonasi Kasamba and Zhili Mumbamulapi. They add the rhumba flavour that makes the line between the genres thinner.

“It will be a case of stage energy and choreography and I am confident that we will play our part in a big way. We will make the visitors feel the heat. We are preparing good choreography for the show and it is going to be a spectacular performance.”

Chimbetu seemed to sing from the same hymn book with Macheso.

“As musicians we usually want to complement each other. We do not go on stage for competition, but fans will obviously make us compete. Since we will be playing for fans, competition becomes inevitable because every musician wants to make the greatest impact at any show,” said Chimbetu.

“We have been rehearsing for the concert because it is not like any other show. There is inevitable competition and we are ready for it. We will ensure that we play our part convincingly. No one will get an award at the end of the concert, but every performer wants to go home happy with their act. We want to go home satisfied that we have done our best.”

Winky D has a history of outclassing international acts because of his unique style of communicating with fans during performances. His greatest strength is turning the crowd from mere fans to participants as he makes sure they sing along to his popular verses. He has always been the man to watch when he sharing the stage with international stars.

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