Liquideep serenades Harare at Valentine’s dinner gig

FOR the princely sum of $100 you will be afforded the chance to stoke your love fires at Meikles Hotel in Harare come February 14 while being serenaded by South African house music duo Liquideep.

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi will be the supporting act. They are calling him the guest artiste though . . . But Liquideep led by a guy called Ziyon is “relevant” at a Valentine’s night dinner.

They have their growing armoury of hit songs such as You don’t have to be alone to make the women swoon. Still, $100 is a heck lot.

That is someone’s salary! For the rich or noveau rich in Bambazonke, $100 is nothing. So it beggars belief how the gig is possible in the first place.

For one it’s expensive to hire these acts. Tuku does not come cheap. I imagine that Liquideep are aware of the Zimbo fixation with Mzansi acts.

Liquideep members Ziyon and Razor

Liquideep members Ziyon and Razor

They would milk that cow surely and charge real money to fly over. It does not matter that they still are a long way from Tuku’s volume of work with his over thirty something albums laden with hit material.

It might be consolation to green eyed local artistes that South African Airways is actually bringing the acts to the Valentine’s dinner show.

Air Zimbabwe might well do it for you too dear artiste in light years to come. I heard the advert on one of the aspirational local radio stations ZiFM in the morning.

ZiFM a hit with advertisers, but dishes musical fluff.

Grudgingly, I must give it to the local station that they are doing something correct in terms of wooing advertisers. On any given morning, you hear adverts from the likes of Tanganda, DHL and South African Airways.

Of course they are cornering a certain demographic: Upwardly mobile (them that eat on our behalf). Seriously though, their positioning is reaping rich rewards. Check their morning show The Ignition.

It used to be hosted by Tonderai Katsande, Marc Pozzo and Miss Red. Now it has Bryan Ship, Miss Red and Marc Pozzo. I imagine that is the station’s strategy in a nutshell . . . Of course their programming is not bad. But content on the music side is frivolous at worst.

Take this song that I heard on the said morning show: She is a yellow, yellow bone oh howu oh, yeah akabatana, pretty girl you are so fine . . .

Thus went the lyric as delivered by a pubescent voice in the “song”. By the way, a yellow bone is a light skinned woman. It doesn’t matter how she gets to be so.

I imagine that the talented presenters wonder to themselves about the content they have to play most of the times. You have to marvel at the musical taste of the so-called listening committee that decides who gets played.

After that shallow song, the station played a South African song. ZiFM may not be faulted for their talk shows, but the music selections especially on the morning show lack depth and a distinctive and diverse Zimbabwean tincture.

More importantly, the music selections ignore Bulawayo content generally and that hurts. My opinion. Listen for yourself.

Amakhosi uncovers a musical jewel.

Aware of a need to secure his legacy and perhaps an angle, Cont Mhlanga has discovered one of Zimbabwe’s potential superstars in a girl called Nolizwe Ngwenya hailing from Makokoba.

Of the twelve artistes whose songs we heard, Ngwenya is the brightest prospect. Her song Mama is a classic without current parallel on all national charts. It is that good.

A self-penned song by the 20-year-old singer; I was relieved to sit in on the listening session alongside other media hacks such as Jefferey Muvundisi, Raisedon Baya and William Nyandoro from the National Arts Council.

There was also the first secretary from the Japanese embassy in attendance taking pictures of proceedings as well as musos Jeys Marabini and Sandra Ndebele.

Ngwenya is very talented. Her voice is blessed with a distinct memorable tone. Her heart breaking back story is that she left school in form two! Her folk could not afford to pay and so she dropped out. It hurt me big time.

“I decided to write my songs after dropping out of school,” she explained as she narrated her musical journey to me.

Thankfully, an institution such as Amakhosi exists. Despite its perceived weaknesses, Amakhosi is all these kids have when the system fails them, when Zimbabwe turns its back on them.

Yes, it is that serious an issue. Ngwenya dreams of going back to school someday. For now she is in the academy at Amakhosi Township Square.

In three years’ time she will have a foundation in showbiz after having passed through the hands of Zimbabwe’s, if not one of Africa’s visionary arts exponents, Mhlanga.

Mom, there is a condom in my bag!

When children are dropping out of school here Bulawayo and perhaps other places because they can’t pay fees, you have radio stations and government ministers seized with the matter of giving kids condoms.

It is for me straight out of Ripleys’ belive it or not. Our kids are losing their future and you talk about condoms. Something must be in the water they are drinking!

I would rather they paid school fees instead. And if there are donors with bags of aid to fund condom roll-outs, convert that money to school fees please.

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