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Macheso, Progress illuminate City of Progress

Progress Chipfumo and Alick Macheso put up a show to remember at the Midlands Hotel, in Gweru on Saturday 6th of April.  The Progress Chipfumo and Alick Macheso combination is one every serious music connoisseur will relish on.

By Tinashe Mutero

There is a lot to remember about this show but perhaps what will stick in the minds of many who managed to attend the gig is that they almost missed this ‘delicacy’ due to heavy rains which pelted Gweru on the same day.  Surely, there are very few of us who forget that which threatens to spoil our happiness. Secondly, Macheso and Chipfumo left an indelible impression that genius lives, breathes, walks on the streets of Zimbabwe. Both Macheso and Progress are masters of song, guitar geniuses’ but its Proggie who stole the show.

Gweru, for those not in the know, is a University town surrounded by mines, legal and illegal. The Midlands State University students bring all the good things of life to the city. And the Makorokoza make the city edgy with their spending and pugnacious tendencies. WE LOVE THEM ALL. It goes without saying that when a show is featuring Macheso and Proggie makorokoza will flock the place.  I did not really expect the university students to attend this show because of two reasons.  It came hard on the heels of another oversubscribed high profile show which featured Winky D and of course because of the rains. But Makorokoza…They came!!!

The show started a bit late, in fact the sound guys were setting up at around 2000 hrs due to the bad weather which nobody ever anticipated. When Progress took to the stage the small crowd which had found its way into the venue was already impatient. I am talking here of a crowd comprising mostly of makorokoza and mahwindi, they are always the first to come. It did not take Progress 2 minutes into his set to captivate the audience. We were ensnared by sheer musicality to the rest of the 3 hours that he belted HIT after HIT.  The caps are deliberate, to emphasise something I observed. Progress has hits!!!

The audience which quickly swelled as the show progressed with Proggie on stage knew each and every song the Sounds of Motherlands front man.  Not only did they sang along, they also imitated his guitar lines. One would be forgiven to assume that Proggie has bussed in fans as is the norm in the field of politics.  You would then wonder “where do journalists find all those terms as ‘underrated’ which they use to describe Gweru. I did not see an audience which underrates their star. If anything I saw a loved and near idolized musician who just doesn’t invest in optics which tell of an overrated star.

How Progress managed to rave the audience with just a four piece band without dancing queens or stockbirds, as Madzibaba calls his dancers, is something to marvel till eternity. We have heard of guitars that talk, Proggie’s lead dances it oozes an energy which radiated into the audience sending them into frenzy. We danced, sang, and mimicked the guitar with child gaiety such that when he played  Dendere to end his set, there were echoes of encore. Trust me, that is a rarity when the next is Alick Macheso.

When Baba Sharo got to the stage the audience which I thought was already frenzied transcended to another orbit. I have not seen such great joy at musical shows in recent years. To put this into perspective, I saw a reincarnation of the mood of November, 15 2017. Ecstasy!!! There is very little I can put to words in describe Macheso’s set. It seems people were enveloped by a spirit of happiness. The energies released there can power a bullet train.

Do not argue ask Chamisa, he will tell you it’s possible. What I remember though is that when Macheso sampled two songs from his forthcoming album which is due for release on July 8, the audience was spell bound. In 2016 before the release his last effort I predicted that Tsoka Dzerwendo was a requiem of Zim Dancehall, you would agree with me that after the release a lot pretenders went quiet. Trust me on this one, Macheso is set discipline the hyped stars.

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