IT has been a good year for some in the country’s entertainment circles, but a turbulent year for others with highs and lows.
The year started well in the southern region of the country with a number of artistes mushrooming everywhere and trying to create fame and make a little bit of money, but very few completed the race.
A number of acts graced Bulawayo’s entertainment scene with South Africa-based artistes such as Zahara, L’vovo Derrango, Black Coffee, DJ Zinhle, Oskido, Zola, Brickz and Mdu leaving an indelible mark.
Local stars Oliver Mtukudzi, Tariro neGitare, Jah Prayzah, Killer T, DJ Lady Cream, Peekay, Shinso and Rick Fire also brought their music to the City of Kings.
However, one embarrassing moment happened in May when South African musician Zahara toured Bulawayo. City joint Club Forty-40 announced it was hosting her after-party resulting in revellers crowding the night club only for Zahara not to pitch up.
One of Bulawayo’s popular DJs, Sweeto, broke his leg in May after a night of binging.
He was rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) by his friend and spent some time in a wheelchair while awaiting the delivery of his crutches.
DJ Sweeto refuted claims he broke his leg in a drunken stupor, claiming he was injured while escaping from an oncoming car which he said wanted “to attack me”.
In April, celebrated Harare-based reggae outfit, Red Fox Family International Sound and reggae DJs staged their first performance in the city.
The reggae band’s performance set Club Forty-40 alight.
The Shangano Arts Festival was also held in Lupane with groups such as Vulindlela from Hwange, Ihawu from Lupane, Kwabana, Lusupuko, Binga Sounds, Idwala and Afro Bong from Victoria Falls as well as Black Sea, Black Amakhwezi and Shaba Arts from Tsholotsho putting appearances at the event.
The event featured exhibitions of various traditional foods made from grains such as sorghum and millet as well as games.
One of Zimbabwe’s most revered gospel choirs, ZimPraise, took Bulawayo by storm on April 30 with more than 6 000 gospel enthusiasts thronging the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Hall 3 for the “It’s All About Jesus” concert.
The choir performed alongside Mathias Mhere, Pastor G, Takesure Ncube of Worship Addicts, Word of Life Choir and Vocal Extraordinaire.
Apart from music, there was also a lot for fashion enthusiasts as a number of shows were held in the city.
The Matabeleland Fashion Week showcased fashion and cultural trends of the people of this region in November at the Heath Streak Academy in Suburbs.
Created and founded by Amanda Mtangadura, an image consultant in 2014, the fashion show featured 10 designers — Getrude Magwaro, Ohh la la, Immaculate, Litso, Shadow, Brand room, Umlongo, Maita Marimo, Ara Kani and the Bulawayo Board of Designers — who each showcased a collection of 15 looks.
This was followed by the inaugural Intwasa Fashion Show with nine designers from Bulawayo featuring.
Bulawayo’s gospel choir Vocal Extraordinaire put up a dazzling show in front of about 1 000 gospel fanatics at the Large City Hall for the “Sithi Uyingcwele” concert.
Vocal Ex, made up of soloists from various denominations, shared the stage with Eric Moyo, Eagle Life Choir, upcoming a cappella group Shalom and Family Voices.
The year saw Bulawayo hosting the Ibumba International Festival organised by Siyaya Arts, which featured several music genrés in one of the most well co-ordinated events held in the city.
The festival featured music, dance, film, literature, art, poetry and theatre performances at venues dotted around Bulawayo although the main venue was Stanley Square in Makokoba.
Dup poet Albert Nyathi, Babongile Sikhonjwa, Colour of Hope, DJ Bong, Deeper, DJ Slamma, Family Voices, Hwaiza Shelela, Iyasa, Kadder Keith Nkosi, Kwabatsha Generals, Martin and Ndolwane Super Sounds, Mjox, Ramsey Kasawaya, Siyaya and Vocal Ex performed at the festival.
Superstar Mtukudzi was the main act staging a show at Stanley Square Hall for the first time in more than 20 years.
Three South African soapie Muvhango actors paid a surprise visit to the Family Voices debut album launch at the Family of God Church auditorium in August.
Rami Chuene (Khomotjo), Humbulani Tsharani (Mulimisi) and Gabriel Temudzani (Chief Azwindini) visited the City of Kings and spoke at the concert to the delight of adoring fans.