CLEVER ZULU, ZIO MWALE, CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
CONGOLESE rhumba star Ferre Gola on Sunday and Monday did more than enough to justify why despite the past ‘indiscretions’ of foreign artistes like Koffi Olomide, the Agriculture and Commercial Show Society of Zambia (ACSZ) insisted on bringing him in.
With local artistes and Malawian Skeffa Chimoto curtain-raising for the 41-year-old Congolese great, Ferre Gola and his band of youthful musicians and dancers showed the showgoers how a performance should look like.
Performing at the agriculture show where the audience can be anything from a head of State to a lost child, the stage was indeed not the ideal five-star.
But the performance oozed with quality.
Performing hits such as Kama Sutra, 100 kilos, Kimbombanda, Tucheze, Seben and Boss, the former Wenge Musica Maison Mere (Werrason) and Quartier Latin (Koffi Olomide) singer showed his singing and dancing prowess much to the amusement of the both the young and old showgoers who gathered at the band stand to witness what was truly an epic performance.
But one did not need to know the titles of the songs to enjoy the show; that is what Ferre Gola is all about.
Ferre Gola last performed in Zambia in 2011 at the same venue and at Pamodzi Hotel when he only had two albums, Sens Interdit and Qui est Derriere Toi. But this time around, he came riding high on hits such as Boss, Seben, Tucheze, Kipelekese and a 2017 new three CD album QQJD coupled with great airplay on the popular music channel Trace TV.
Boasting of a great dancer Ya Mado and rapper Bercy Muana Nzunzi, Ferre Gola’s band managed to mesmerise even the ultra-neutrals in rhumba circles. The band combined mellow tunes and hyper Congolese soukous to cater for all ages.
Once again, the local artistes were given a crash course on stage performance.
But Malawian musician Skeffa Chimoto was not far behind with his performance which thrilled the audience on Monday, the last day of the show.
Not for the first time, local musicians were again overshadowed if not embarrassed by the audience which evidently preferred Skeffa on stage instead of one of the local musicians.
Don’t they say local is laka!
Well, not necessarily at this show it seems.
It was not the first time, and on the evidence of the Monday performance, it will not be the last time Skeffa will be performing in the country.
But from the way the audience reacted, it is like they were seeing him for the last time.
They all wanted to be up-close with him, and those with smart phones were eager to capture him.
Skeffa took the stage around 13:00 hours following live performances by the Amayenge, Dalisoul and Sista D among others.
Yes, you can fault local musicians with a number of things, but certainly not the likes of the Amayenge and Sista D who always show such a good command of the stage.
You can say what you want about local musicians, but you have to be proud as a Zambian to see the likes of Amayenge and Sista D on stage anywhere, anyplace.
They are a real act.
They are not called ASOZA [Amayenge Sounds of Zambia] for nothing.
But the good part with the agriculture show is that there is always almost something for everyone.
For those who did not fancy Ferre Gola or Skeffa Chimoto or indeed Amayenge Asoza, there was still something to fall on.
For instance, the likes of Slap D had their own following.
A mostly youthful audience kept vigil at the Mobile City pavilion where King Dizo, as his faithful fans call him, was showcasing his talent in his capacity as Itel’s brand ambassador. Slap D was in the company of some familiar faces from the Muvi TV drama series Banja.
The elderly could be seen balancing their children on their shoulder in order to have a clear sight of Slap D churning out some of his hit songs.
Some of the fans were simply in awe of him.
“Ni Slap D uja ali mu cap for sure [Is that really Slap D wearing a cap] wow,” a female fan was heard saying as she struggled to get a clear view of the rapper while another male fan said “Imfumu ya hip-pop ili pa stage zoona [the king of hip-hop is on stage for sure].”
Well, that is what you get at the show away from all those interpretations about the green economy in line with the theme.