THELMA BWALYA, NDANGWA MWITTAH
WHEN you can host a music festival named after yourself, then you should know that you are no ordinary artiste.
One of the things that lack on the Zambian music scene is festivals. Don’t even talk about live performances.
Yet, Danny Kaya has been changing that narrative. For the third time, he was able to successfully host the Danny Kaya Music Fest at Levy Car Park. By the way, this is the same venue that used to host the Stanbic Jazz Music Festival. The format has since changed of the Stanbic Music Festival. But whatever the case, it is a pale shadow of its former self. Not so this the Danny Kaya Fest. Put it this way, both the Danny Kaya Music Fest and Stanbic Music Fest were held this month, but there was only one event music fans were talking about. And there are no prizes for guessing which one it was.
Simply put, there is only one brand, and it is Danny Kaya. Or as his fans would say, there is only one legend, and it is Danny Kaya.
He may no longer be churning out hit after hit as he used to do in the early 2000s, but his hits remain timeless, even songs like Kaya and Yakumbuyo. In fact, even Masiku Onse, which catapulted him to fame. That is over two decades ago. He is now in his early 40s, but the fans who have grown up with him still find the songs appealing.
That was the case at Levy last Friday.
This year’s line- up was not very different from last year’s, which was held at Mika Convention Centre shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic eased.
On the line-up this year, he had K’Millian, Ozzy, Afunika and he also brought back Petersen and Israel from last year’s festival. Actor Henry BJ Phiri returned as the host alongside radio presenter Hope Chishala.
As you would expect when Danny is in town, the show attracted an over-crowded crowd.
As usual, the Mo Fire Band opened the night with old kalindula music. It was a way of tracing the roots of Zambian music. Danny’s back-up vocalists Titus and Naso also performed their hit songs Weakness Yanga and Nilindila respectively.
After the Mo Fire had warmed the stage enough, Afunika got on stage with his dancers and performed for about 40 minutes. Afunika opened with an intro of Ichilaka before he took the audience way back with performances of Efyo Mwampela, Darling, Moment of Time, Alilowa and Skirt which saw the audience dancing and singing along.
After Afunika, Ozzy followed on stage to deliver his performance. He had the audience up all throughout his performance.
Ozzy got on the stage with some of his hit sings that were produced at Sling Beats. He opened with the Osalila song and followed it up with Nimusanga, Nandi, Mobile, Chino Chalo and Chimutengo Cha Mango.
During his performance, the audience screamed at Ozzy requesting that he plays Potential, which he did immediately after Chino Chalo. The audience loved it and confirmed it with their screams.
Yet, he was not done. He also delivered Take My heart, Ona Mami and his latest single General’s Cry.
He was on stage for about 45 minutes before K’Millian took over. There were doubts over K’Millian’s availability following the mini-stroke he suffered recently. To therefore see him on stage, the audience was more than ecstatic.
K’Millian was on stage for about 30 minutes. He opened with Another Day and followed it up with Nizakukonda, Waona Nawama and Naliendele before he sung the audience’s favourite Kakabalika.
The excited audience sang along to all his songs before Chika took over the performances. He performed a bit of Manone before he got the audience on its feet with the performance of Lupupa.
But there was more to come; Petersen was to follow after Chika. The musician-cum-politician’s performance was more interactive. He delivered songs like Stoga, Wasembe, Makwebo Mu Church, Bobojani, Munyaule and Nilabeko.
He had a performance with Milz The Teacher which the audience really loved.
After Pertersen left the stage, Izrael was next and the crowd went wild with some of them audience members moving closer to the stage. He started his performance with Teti and followed up with Siku Yalelo before he went on to sing his hit songs from way back.
He later introduced his wife Nalu to the stage and the couple had an exciting performance with House, Money, Car and Efindingile.
Nalu left the stage and Israel continued with songs like So Lucky, Kumvela Nimvela and Tikakumana.
About midnight as the audience was anxiously waiting for the main act, the legend Leo Muntu took to the stage and only performed his song Wilalila.
About ten minutes after midnight, the moment that everyone was waiting for finally came and there was loud screams of excitement and applause from the audience when Danny was introduced.
His performance started with the Mo Fire Band playing instrumentals of Julie, Joni and Naiwe.
At this moment, the audience could not keep calm as they were anxiously waiting for the legend to sing.
His first song was his recent single Nimakupempelela, which was followed by As Long As, Shishita and Ba Roomie.
He later continued with Bakakwafwa, Yakumbuyo, Live, Kaya, Njelela, Mazoe, Taufipanga and Better TV which had the audience on its feet singing along to every word.
Like always, his show could not end without him paying tribute to artistes who have passed on.
He started by playing Daddy Zemus’ Chikondi and Takwakabe which features the late Joe Chibangu.
After the tributes, he continued and performed a few hit songs and introduced the Mo Fire Band one by one.
He was on stage for about an hour and promised to be back next year for another exciting show in a bigger venue.
It was another show to savour.
THELMA BWALYA, NDANGWA MWITTAH