Langalakhe Mabena – [email protected]
He knows what his fans want and has mastered the skill to get them eating from the palm of his hand.
And that makes Zimbabwean music giant Jah Prayzah (JP) a one-in-a-million creative, a special being.
Still maintaining his status as the best contemporary artiste in the country, Jah Prayzah outdid himself on Saturday evening as he successfully launched his 13th album, Maita Baba (Thank you God) in front of a fully packed Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Wait, did you know? JP launched his 12th album, Chiremerera (Respect/Dignity) on May 12 in Harare and dropped his 13th body of work on May 13. All success was achieved in 24 hours.
This has made JP a history maker, getting his name written in the chronicles of the country’s music scene as the first artiste to drop two albums in one go, a pacesetter.
He could not have achieved everything without his fans who made sure they geared up to support the chanter as they thronged the venue, with approximately 3 000 people attending the Bulawayo album launch.
Fellow creatives from Bulawayo as well as Mzansi, in the form of DJ Mzoe, Mzoe 7, Asaph, DJ Nospa, Ma9nine, Sha Sha, Nomfundo Moh and veteran wheel spinner DJ Tira endorsed JP as he launched his album in the city.
Opening the stage was the award-winning hip-hop rapper Asaph, who with no fail, captured and made sure revellers were treated to quality music. He performed songs that included Mhoroi, Thebelele and The Good Times anthem.
After Asaph, Mzoe 7 jumped on stage with his signature song Asambeni and he made sure he kept everyone on their feet. He performed hit after hit from Kwasa Kwasa, Ginimbi to a couple of tracks from his latest album.
The show would not have been a “wow” without a touch of Amapiano and South Africa-based songstress Sha Sha was the perfect fit to strike the balance among the acts on the night. Abondaba, Woza, iPiano, Thembalami, as well as Tender Love, are some of the gems that Sha Sha performed.
Her performance was complemented by Nomfundo Moh as she took the mic from Sha Sha and laid RnB and soulful tunes that toned down the vibe in order to introduce the main man of the show, JP.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re gathered tonight for one man who has proven to be a G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) in his generation. He is set to make history tonight and that has been made possible because of your undying love for him,” said the master of ceremonies Babongile Sikhonjwa while introducing JP on stage.
Wagwizi, as JP is now affectionately known, took centre stage at exactly midnight, a perfect time for a king to address and mesmerise his fans with great music. The night was an Afro-Fusion session as he opened his stage set with the hit Tsviriyo, making a major throwback, at the same time, reminding his fans of where he came from.
During his two-hour set, JP performed songs including Nyeredzi, Dangerous, Dzamutsana and Mukwasha. His latest song featuring DJ Tira titled Tocheka was a hit as fans sang along to the joint which was released a week before the album launch.
“Bulawayo, inini nemi tabva kure (Me and you have come a long way). Today is a great night to be back in my favourite city to launch my 13th album Maita Baba. This offering is all about giving glory to the
Almighty for the blessings he bestows on us each and every day.
“The album has 13 songs and I’ve worked with talented creatives, both local as well as South African. My sisters Nomfundo Moh and Sha Sha are present tonight to endorse this project as they’re also featuring acts on the album.
“The great man with an open heart DJ Tira is also present tonight to bless this event. I appreciate his craft as we also worked together. I pray that our musical efforts will heal and foster good human relations between our countries,” said JP.
Raising the bar high, JP went on to sing songs, Bvumbamira as well as Sadza NeMuriwo, a performance which was a classic for the night as Iyasa jumped on stage to complement the tall dreadlocked chanter, as they did on the song’s music video.
What would be a JP performance without Goto? As always, he closed off his set with Goto, a very spiritual song that always connects him with his ancestors.
After finishing his set at 2am, Makoya Bearings, DJ Tira took over the stage and the party started from the ground as he performed Durban Kwaito hits from Ubala, No Stress to Umlilo, songs that catapulted his stable Afrotainment to fame.
The major highlight of DJ Tira’s performance was when he played Big Nuz’ song Ngeke, a hit that reminded many of the late member of the group Mampintsha who passed away in December.
On the sidelines of the show, JP’s manager Keen Mushapaidze was a happy man.
“This is amazing, we put so much effort into these album launches and people in Harare and Bulawayo supported us abundantly.
“This will go down as one of JP’s biggest highlights of his career,” said Mushapaidze.
In a major move that showed the corporate world’s support of artistes, Gateway Stream Media (GSM), which is a part of the Rainbow Tourism Group, was the major partner for the launch of the artiste’s two albums.