CONFUSION, poor planning and technical glitches reigned supreme at the Kalawa Jazzmee Homecoming party at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Saturday.
Kalawa Jazzmee is a South African music record label partly owned by celebrated Zimbabwean born disc jockey, Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa.
The event, now in its third year, was themed, “Celebrating twenty years of Kwaito music”.
However, despite the hype that was created throughout the year, confusion was the order of the day as thousands of revellers had to battle for hours with security details manning the gate, to gain entry into the venue.
The organisers of the show, undoubtedly the biggest music event in the city, were badly exposed as there was only one access point to the venue and bouncers with the assistance of the police had a torrid time trying to control the crowd.
Even VIP ticket holders who had been assured of royal treatment had to join the long winding queues.
Most of the merrymakers had opted for the cheaper tickets which were pegged at $10 before 8pm. With the show kicking off late, partly due to the heavy rains that pounded the city for most the day, some of the ticket holders left the venue opting to while up time at other entertainment centres.
However, when they came back later they got a rude awakening as they were made to join the queue once again, creating chaotic scenes at the gate. The organisers might be left counting their losses as some people gave up and left, after failing to gain entry.
The rest who could not pass the opportunity to see some of their music icons live on stage hung around, with some finally making it in as late as 3am.
Despite these setbacks, the musicians dished up top notch performances which were however spoiled by a few technical glitches.
Local disc jockeys such as Scooby, Skaiva and Sbago warmed up the stage for the main acts with their enthralling mixes.
The South African artists, who command a huge following in the country, did not disappoint the appreciative crowd. Brickz, newly formed group Stiff and Alaska, set the bar high with well-polished acts.
When Mandoza took to the stage just after midnight the mood was already electric. He performed his hit songs such as Nkalakatha, 50-50 which catapulted him to music stardom. The sound system, which kept going off during his performance put a dent to an otherwise great performance.Advertisement
Local House music outfit, Defined House, took over from Mandoza and managed to maintain the pace he had set. They brought in a different act from last year’s edition and even sampled their new track, Achimwemwe, and judging from the response from the crowd it promises to be a hit.
Two of the most eagerly anticipated performances of the night soon followed, with the self-proclaimed godfather of kwaito music, Mdu, taking to the stage first before handing over to Zola.
Mdu, with over 20 years’ experience in the music industry, was performing in Zimbabwe for the first time. His act was well put together and showed that he knows his business.
His counterpart, Zola, who at his pick even had a reality show on SABC One, spiced up his performance mixing his slow jams with some of fast paced yester-year club bangers such as Mdlwembe.
Zimbabwean born reggae artist, Jah Seed, a member of the popular South African music group, Bongo Maffin, took to the turntables soon after and sampled a mixture of international reggae and dancehall tunes.
He had the crowd eating out of his hand when he sampled popular local dancehall tracks.
The pick of the performances arguably belonged to the four member house music outfit, Uhuru, who were also making a second appearance at this year’s edition.
Their set, comprising of a deejay, a vocalist, a drummer and keyboardist, was flawless and for about 30 minutes the revellers danced non-stop.
And as has become the norm, Oskido took to the stage at the crack of dawn, kicking off with popular hip hop tunes before cascading through various other genres.
For the thousands who attended the show, it was truly a worthwhile experience, one that will linger in their minds for the whole year till the next edition.