Mapfumo, Mtukudzi, Chiwoniso Clash In South Africa

Mapfumo is fulfilling his promise earlier this year that he would be back in Johannesburg with his full Blacks Unlimited Band.

But he cannot cross into Zimbabwe as yet because he feels the time is not quite right for him to do so without elaborating.

The last time Mapfumo was in Johannesburg in June he appeared as a guest at Mtukudzi’s show at Carnival City performing only one song together and a couple of songs by himself with a makeshift band.

Spokesperson for the show organizers in Johannesburg Kevin Stuart, of Breakout Management, told Radio VOP exclusively that Mapfumo and his Black Unlimited, Mtukudzi and the Blacks Spirits plus Chiwoniso are all fully confirmed Johannesburg bound for the musical extravaganza dubbed the ZimZa Festival at Ellis Park on Sunday 09 October 2011.

ZimZa are combined acronyms for Zimbabwe and South Africa.

As a musician Mapfumo, can be singled out as the most critical of musicians in Zimbabwe and has boldly told the veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation war of the 1970s, particularly President Robert Mugabe, to go for leading a “repressive regime”.

Mapfumo has been living in exile in Oregon, USA, for nearly 10 years now and travels to Johannesburg but never sets foot in Harare where his loyal fans in the ghettoes still play his war-cry chimurenga music genre loudly from their cars and shebeens.

It is not always that Mapfumo and Mtukudzi, friends from their 1970s days together in the Wagon Wheels Band, played back-to-back even before the time Mapfumo left Zimbabwe. They have met occasionally in the United Kingdom and performed together including in South Africa in June.

What makes the legends’ upcoming joint show in Johannesburg particularly more outstanding is not entirely the large numbers of the nostalgic Zimbabwean fans living and working there and dying always for quality live musical performances from motherland.

Add to this top billing of the big boys the sister, in the name of the queen of the mbira, Chiwoniso, and the festival is unquestionably in a class of its own promising to be the mother of all gigs by Zimbabwean musicians anywhere abroad so far this year.

Chiwoniso is a celebrated musician who broke into the music world markets long back and stands her own on the grand stage mixing traditional acoustics, contemporary afro-mbira and her trademark explosive pitch that makes her quite unique talent amongst her many peers.