When City of Kings invaded Vienna

WIEN feiern, bis die Polizei kommt (we will party until the police come).

Nkululeko Innocent DUBE
Own Correspondent

That is a common German statement you will hear when Austrians are having fun. The big African party held in Vienna, Austria, was no different.

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The Bulawayo-based cultural, musical and dance ambassadors Marabini, Insingizi and Iyasa brought the house down at the popular theatre Dschungel Wien on June 21 2014.

The show was billed to be the best African party of the year ever held at the theatre and it definitely lived up to the billing.

This year the theatre celebrates it’s 10th anniversary. To start with the venue could not accommodate all those who wished to attend and some had to take consolation in dancing the night away in the foyer.

Coincidentally scheduled at the same time with the much-prized World Cup match between Germany and Ghana, there had been fears attendance would be affected, but that was not to be, the game was screened at the venue too. At the show break the whole of Vienna rallied behind Ghana probably having just fallen in love with African music and dance unselfishly served by arguably three of Zimbabwe’s top prized arts imports.

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Insingizi are famed for their song Sugar Daddy which became very popular in 1993 before they relocated to Austria where they studied music.

They have been in Austria since 1997. Their imbube style has seen them rise and one of their CDs Voices of Southern Africa Vol 1 sold gold (250 000 copies).

They are probably the most unsung heroes of Zimbabwean imbube music. Even on this occasion they had the crowd singing along to their melodious voices.

The youthful entourage of Iyasa took to the stage after Insingizi and their ever energetic dances drew a standing ovation from an audience that already knows them well and admired them for the past 13 years that they have toured Austria.

The Dschungel Wien Theatre is the away home for Iyasa and they too left an unforgettable mark on their legion of fans. The cocktail audience of mixed people from all races simply rose to their feet when Iyasa left the stage to pass the baton to Marabini and band.

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Jeys has bemoaned lack of support for music from the southern region of Zimbabwe and has never minced his words on what he perceives to be an uneven terrain in terms of arts opportunities in Zimbabwe.

When he started to belt tracks from his new album Silo whose taste has so much international bias the audience Iyasa and Insingizi joined him on stage and danced like they had it all rehearsed before the show.

Song after song, applause after applause the audience wanted more and would not let the superstar and his band go.

Austria danced to Zimbabwean tunes till midnight and the after-party crept into the early hours of the morning.

I talked to Marabini after the show and he expressed gratitude to the amazing support from Austrian music fans and in rhetoric and satirical fashion typical of Jeys asked: “If Austrians can fill up venues and enjoy our music this way who has the right to tell us we are failures?”

Marabini and his band are on one-month tour of Austria courtesy of 10th District Music who are organising his tour.

He already has hosted successful shows and workshops at the Sunnseitn-Sunnwunend in Aigen-Schlagl and played a day before Iyasa at the Chiala festival in Graz. Several gigs are still lined up and judging by those already played, his tour is bound to be a huge
success.
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