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Sungura crown at stake at Impala music gala

By staff reporter

Alick Macheso is arguably Zimbabwe’s hottest sungura musician. By raising the standard of sungura music in the country, through his lyrical-rich melodies coupled by electrifying performances, he grabbed the title of “king of sungura” from any pretender to the throne.

Extrabasso as he is fondly known, Macheso threw down the gauntlet and challenged any challengers for the coveted sungura crown when he went solo and assembled Orchestra Mberikwazvo — a group comprising some of the country’s best instrumentalists in 1997.

Nineteen years down the line since his debut album Magariro, Macheso still enjoys the supremacy, although a number of upcoming artists have been knocking at his door over the years.

Next Saturday Macheso’s title will be at stake when he headlines the first session of the Impala Car Rental 10th anniversary music gala at Glamis Arena where he will share the stage with upcoming sungura artists — Romeo Gasa, Tatenda Pinjisi, Peter Moyo, Simon Mutambi and Lucky Kumene — who are all vying for the sungura cathedra.

“To me it’s not a competition as such. It is an opportunity to show to the world what I am capable of doing when I share the stage with ‘big people’,” said sungura prodigy Romeo Gasa.

“People who used to call me a copycat should come and see that my music is different from Macheso. I use female backing vocalists and dancers, which is not the case with Macheso. My voice is my weapon and very different from that of Macheso.”
Gasa said he will sample a few songs from his forthcoming album.

His sentiments were also echoed by another sungura exponent Tatenda Pinjisi.

“I have always been longing to share the stage with some of these big guns. What interests me is that fans will be able to distinguish between my music and that of other sungura musicians. My music is different and I am not a copy, after all,” said Pinjisi.

The Saina hitmaker said he will also use the opportunity to play some songs from his forthcoming project.

Other musicians billed to perform on the day could not be reached for comment on Friday.