BULAWAYO’S jazz maestro Majahawodwa Ndlovu, aka Jeys Marabini, and his Kozekulunge Jazz Band yesterday made an emotional fair-well to city fathers and residents before they undertook a three-nation month-long tour of Europe.
Marabini and his band made a courtesy call at the mayoral chambers at around 9am yesterday to bid the city fathers goodbye before flying out at lunch time to Europe via Johannesburg, South Africa.
Accompanied by his wife, Fatima Nyoni, Jeys and his band were welcomed by deputy mayor Gift Banda who showered praises on the musicians before their departure.
“The ancestors of the city would look upon you during your tour,” Banda said. “It makes us happy that Jeys is passionate about his place of birth, Bulawayo, even when people look down on him and the city. It is our hope as the city council of Bulawayo that your trip will be successful. Hopefully your tour would open doors for other budding musicians on the international scene,” the deputy mayor said.
Jeys and his band are scheduled to perform in Austria, Germany and Hungary. There is a possibility of the band sharing the stage with another Bulawayo group, Iyasa, during some of their scheduled shows.
Jeys’ five-member band includes Kelvin Ndlovu (bass guitarist), Trevor Mnaphi (drummer), Mzingaye Ndlela (percussionist), Mthabisi Moyo (guitarist) and Dumisani Nkomo (vocalist).
Some of the band members could not hide their excitement at travelling to Europe for the first time.
Former deputy mayor Angilacala Ndlovu praised Jeys for informing the council on his visit to Europe. “It is a good thing to inform the elders when you are embarking on a tour of such magnitude as this one so as to receive a blessing from them. Majahawodwa Ndlovu has shown that he is a true son. We applaud him for this honourable deed. He is going a at a good time when Bulawayo celebrates 120years of existence,” Ndlovu said.
Jeys thanked the city fathers, journalists and the people of Bulawayo for their support.
“We saw it fit to inform our elders about this tour. The reason is that we have been blessed with the opportunity to represent Bulawayo abroad. I have a passion for where I come from. I am proud of Bulawayo. I want to thank the people of Bulawayo and journalists. If it was not the media, people of Austria would not have heard or read of me and my music,” he said.