KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
THERE were many reasons for going to Chainama Hotel last Saturday: Maiko Zulu, No Parking Band, Milz the Teacher and Bantu Roots, among others.
Is it just the love of reggae music or just for love or â€˜One Loveâ€™, as Bob Marley would put it?
In fact, the main reason for going for the One Love concert was simply that it was a tribute show to Bob Marley.
And why Bob Marley?
The Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roll Hall of Fame puts it better.
â€œBob Marley was reggaeâ€™s foremost practitioner and emissary, embodying its spirit and spreading its gospel to all corners of the globe. His extraordinary body of work embraces the stylistic spectrum of modern Jamaican music – from ska to rock steady to reggae – while carrying the music to another level as a social force with universal appeal. Few others changed the musical and cultural landscape as profoundly as he.â€
That is enough reason every year veteran musician Brian Shakarongo organises the Bob Marley tribute festival.
And that is why every year, reggae musicians and fans gather for what was formerly known as the Jah Night, now rebranded as One Love concert.
Just as well.
Who can forget the One Love Peace concert, the longest and most political reggae concert staged in the outdoor national stadium in Kingston, Jamaica? It started at 17:00 hours and ended under a full moon in the early hours of the following morning.
What a party it must have been! And what a party it was at Chainama.
You should know you are at a great event if at 03:00 hours, people are still streaming in.
Or if Peter Bob enters at 02:00 hours ready to perform, or Bongo Far-I has not performed by 02:30 hours.
Or if you want to watch Maiko Zulu but still do not want the No Parking Band to leave the stage.
Or if Ras Tamuz (Dr Thomas Kapakala) travels all the way from Ndola to be part of the event.
Or if Shakarongo will play drums for his daughter, Natasha. Or if Maiko will at some point back his daughter, Mwiza.
Maiko used the occasion to inform his legion of fans that indeed he will be contesting the Kabwata parliamentary seat in next yearâ€™s general elections.
Call him the self-styled Honour Rebel.
Mwepu Kapungwe, ever present at the Bob Marley tribute shows, commented: â€œNow you can ask yourself, who is Maiko Zulu and why should he be our honourable MP in Kabwata here in Lusaka? This small man is a big package of big things to come. Get closer if you can, but if you think you can fool him or sell him out, then good luck.
â€œI have known and walked with him from Kabulonga Boys Secondary School and through. This is your man, our man, the Jah manâ€¦ One day, Zulu will sit on that throne in Kabwata and we will turn Zambian politics into seriousness. Watch this space; the small axe is cutting.â€
Whatever the case, the audience was just happy to skank and celebrate one love.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka