STAFRANCE ZULU, Ndola
WHEN Zesco United Football Club was just a pretender, Ndola was well serviced with some excitement at the time Ndola United Football Club was a major force in local football.Masala residents were the main beneficiaries.
But it is so long ago since they experienced that. But last Saturday changed all that. And just as well because the following day on Sunday, they were rudely interrupted by news of a girl who had allegedly come back to life having died and been buried about two years ago.
On Saturday, the place to be was Musa Kasonka Stadium which came alive when it played host to a music show featuring Congolese rhumba musician Fally Ipupa and South African singing duo Mafikizolo.
Since when did the residents of Masala get such an offering? Even the old will struggle to remember.
It is not that Ndola as a city has been starved of entertainment, no; it is only that it has been mostly restricted to Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
When Mafikizolo touched down at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, they promised that they were not going to disappoint. And they did not.
With Bwana Njombe acting as the master of ceremonies, the show started with local boy Mwila Mulenga playing some R’n’B covers before ending the performance with his own song Komboni Gelo.
The audience had seen nothing yet.
Mampi changed the complexion of the show and indeed the stage when she followed next on stage performing songs like Why, Walilowelela and Swililili. Oh, she even performed Mate, a cover of Joyce Nyirongo’s all-time hit.
Mampi is a receipient of the National Arts Council of Zambia Ngoma Award for Best Female Performer, which is named after Joyce Nyirongo.
If the awards were still in existence, Mampi would have been in contention for another Joyce Nyirongo Award for Best Female Performer based on her performance at Musa Kasonka.
With Mampi done, the coast was clear for Mafikizolo to take to the stage. They are not new to the Copperbelt having previously performed here. But their presence here last weekend coincided with the South African Music Awards (SAMA) in Sun City which were attended by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mafikizolo are previous winners of the SAMA, which this year had their own controversy for allegedly excluding some popular names such as Babes Wodumo whose song featured in the critically-acclaimed film Black Panther.
But there was no such controversy at Musa Kasonka Stadium with the audience enjoying Mafikizolo’s hit songs like Emlanjeni (Meet You at the River), Ndihambanawe, Ofana Nawe and Love Potion.
Fally Ipupa was saved for last. In fact, he came on stage way past midnight.
But the audience could afford to wait. They knew it was no ordinary act they were waiting for.
This was a theatrical performance.
First, Fally Ipupa and his band of about 30 members filled the stage. With no time to waste, Fally performed a number of songs leading to French kiss. Yet, he was not done. The audience was calling for Arsenal or Eloko Oyo to be performed.
The band changed their attire into a cultural costume, a similar if not the same attire that appears in the Eloko Oyo video.
Fally Ipupa did justice. He called most of the ladies who wanted to dance with him to the stage.
No prizes for guessing the response from the ladies.
STAFRANCE ZULU, Ndola