Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
MONEY was doled out to both Alick Macheso and Madlela Skhobokhobo by appreciative fans during a show at the Homestead Conference Centre on Friday evening.
This was the first time that the two, Macheso a veteran in Sungura and Madlela, someone who is growing in his own stride in Rhumba music, had shared the stage in Bulawayo.
On a chilly Friday night with temperatures plummeting to six degrees Celsius, over 1 000 people came to watch Extra Basso perform in the city, the first time this year.
Fans got the best of both worlds as Madlela, who at one time said he was afraid to perform in Bulawayo because of lack of support, got a warm reception on stage. He endeared himself with the multitudes as he and his dancers were periodically given money by excitable fans while they were performing.
Madlela’s axe was the subject of some fans’ fascination, alongside his comical antics. His axe earned him the Kamudhara Kedemo/Umdala Wehloka moniker. His songs Majazana, Golide and especially his runaway hit Ngamnanka were the toast of the night until he left the stage. On his way to his vehicle, he was surrounded by appreciative fans who gave him the thumbs up for a polished performance. They went on to stuff more money into his hands. Even when he got to his vehicle, he did not immediately leave because fans wanted to take pictures with him. While he was at it, Gwanda’s Master Zhou was performing and unfortunately for the young artiste, his act was cut short due to a power outage on stage. This happened twice.
Thereafter, Macheso’s band, Orchestra Mberikwazvo, led by chanter Jonas Kasamba, took to the stage to warm up for Baba Shero who was following proceedings closely. When Macheso leapt onto the stage at around 11.30PM, the place erupted into a frenzy as revellers were happy to see Extra Basso, who is arguably the king of Sungura music.
His dance crew, led by a chubby looking Majuice who was spotting a new hairstyle, a box cut with a tinted dreadlocks, were ready for action. Getting down to business, Macheso firstly carried a lead guitar as his set started off slow with sing-along tunes. He wanted to warm them up for a nearly six-hour set.
When he strummed the bass guitar, the real party started as the hunger and thirst for Macheso was finally quenched. This was the party side of Macheso’s set and where he showed why he is called Extra Basso, the man who makes the guitar talk.
Just like Madlela, Macheso was also given money by fans. It was either thrown on stage or handed to him from time to time as he performed. In no time, his pockets were full.
He performed songs that made him a household name such as Madhuve, Shedia and Mundikumbuke.
He also performed some from his last release, Dzinosvitsa Kure. Various fans were spotted trying their best to imitate the Borrowdale dance popularised by Macheso and on occasions the Zora Butter.
It was a party!
Only taking a 30-minute break at around 2.30AM, Macheso returned on stage and left at 6AM with fans tired, drunk and happy.