BULAWAYO’S most celebrated gospel choir Vocal Extra-ordinaire put up a dazzling show on Saturday night in front of about 1 000 gospel fanatics who packed the Large City Hall for the “Sithi Uyingcwele” concert.
The crowd that had waited outside the venue for more than two hours was, however, disappointed with the non-appearance of South African guest artiste S’phumelele Mbambo.
A message plastered at the entrances advised local gospel enthusiasts that Mbambo, famous for her hit Iguqulwe Eyami Intando, had not been able to make it due to reasons beyond the organisers’ control.
But this did not deter the crowd that thronged Large City Hall for the concert which largely lived up to its billing.
Concert host Tawanda Denga did not need to do much to excite the already ecstatic crowd.
Vocal Ex, which is made up of soloists from various denominations, shared the stage with Eagle Life Choir who opened the show, upcoming a cappella group Shalom and Family Voices.
Family Voices performed their popular tunes Anowuya Chete and Jobo.
Hip-hop dance group Salt and Light was also at hand.
Vocal Ex marched onto the stage wearing stunning regalia. Male vocalists were clad in long tunics with traditional prints while female vocalists wore African designs with a sophisticated touch. A number of songs were delivered in Shona, Zulu, Ndebele as well as English, among them Baleka, Arizoperi Simba and Igazi likaJesu.
Eric Moyo took the audience through an old hymn Hukuru Hwenyu Mwari, followed by Mkhululi Bhebhe in a sailor suit getting everyone on their feet with the now famous hit Ichokwadi.
“You must understand, when we say ichokwadi mwari varipo I am not merely saying it. I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life. He has elevated me and brought me to a high place,” he shouted to the fans.
Show-stopping moments occurred when a girl called Chelsea performed sungura routines in stilettos as if she was in flat shoes.
Sindy Nhilziyo, one of the fans described the show as a blessing.
“The show was beautiful despite the delay in starting. I liked the fact that they are praising God in a lively way. We are here to forget about all our problems and focus on praise and worship,” she said.