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SA gig for local artists

Oliver Shambira

BARELY three months after putting on two well-attended shows at the 2010 Centre Thohoyandou, Limpopo province, trailblazing musician Mitchell Jambo is se

t to hit the road yet again for what is billed to be a memorable show in South Africa.

The gig, scheduled for Messina Grounds on April 22, is set to commemorate the country’s Freedom Day which falls on April 27.

It also marks recognition of local artists who have managed to make a breakthrough despite the high inflationary environment which has thrust the price of instruments beyond the reach of many.

Jambo will be joined by local musicians Tongai Moyo and R&K African Sounds on a show influenced by SA-based Jonah Moyo of the Devera Ngwena Jazz Band.

The participation of Comrade Chinx, initially billed to provide a “revolutionary flavour”, could not be ascertained by the time of going to print owing to the late processing of his travel documents.

The show is being promoted by Robert Mphepuh, a South African businessman with interests in the construction sector and music.

In South Africa the local groups will share the stage with a galaxy of local stars who include the celebrated Brickz, gospel music outfit Worship House, Zozo (a Zimbabwean artist now running a recording studio in SA) and Albert Mukwevo.

Brickz are in the running for awards following their nomination in four categories of the South African Music Awards due this month.

The kwaito group were nominated in the best newcomer, best kwaito, best pop artist and best song of the year categories. Their hit song Sweety My Baby earned them a slot in the last category.

The occasion will provide Jambo with an opportunity to showcase his upcoming project with Jonah Moyo.

“We are currently working on an album which we’ll record in South Africa. This will be in Shona and Venda,” said Jambo.

The album will carry 10 tracks five of which were penned by Jambo while Moyo provided the remainder.

During his two other previous visits, Jambo and Moyo made recordings of their live shows which have since been poured onto the lucrative SA market. Plans are afoot to market the videos — available on DVDs — on the local market where his popularity seems to be growing. The project includes his monster hit Ndini Uyo! off his 1999 album Simba Nesimba.

Recording was done at the NW Audio Visual Production studio owned by Mphepuh.

Jambo’s star, blighted by a dearth of promotional and marketing skills on the part of his recording company, seems to be poised for greater heights yet again, thanks to Jonah Moyo who has developed a soft spot for fellow musicians going through lean times.

“He’s actually a big guy, very kind and not jealousy like some of the artists we have here. He just heard about what I was going through and decided to extend an invitation to support him at the shows. I am very grateful to him,” said Jambo.

Meanwhile, Jambo who revealed he has severed ties with his former recording company, Gramma, is working on a new album. How long his growing base of fans will have to wait, will depend on progress being made on construction taking place at the studio.

Jambo said his decision to quit was made after discovering his music was not being professionally marketed.

A cursory survey of leading retail shops by this writer revealed that none of the artist’s works, even those made popular by ample airplay, were available on the shelves. Banishment of the flea markets in the aftermath of the much-loathed Operation Murambatsvina seems to have compounded the situation.

Besides his Marunga Brothers group of brother Mickron (rhythm guitar), James Phiri (drums), son Divason (bass), Joseph Soza (lead guitar) and sub rhythm guitarist Succeed Matara, Jambo has roped in two dancing girls — Portia Muponda and Noreen Magorimbo — to spice up his repertoire.

And the South Africans and locals who have fled the deteriorating economic situation back home will certainly be eating out of his hands, come April 22.

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