Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
A COLD Friday night was warmed up as Ammara Brown brought the heat during the first Bulawayo Jazz festival held at the Homestead Conference Centre, showing many what they will be missing since her relocation to South Africa.
She was the highlight of the night as Bulawayo artistes showed off their talent at the inaugural show where they danced and sang in a bid to revive the dying genre of jazz music.
Ammara’s performance was her first this year in Bulawayo and first ever since she left for south of the Limpopo to look for the proverbial greener pastures.
Last month Ammara Brown shifted to SA after parting ways with her manager of five years, Tsungi Zvobgo, to engage the services of Don Khabana of OCM Management.
The Akiliz hit-maker is an all-round performer where she sings dances, interacts with the crowd all throughout her sets.
She keeps them engaged with what she’s doing on stage, every dance move she makes, note she sings and every expression on her face. Ammara owns the stage and the crowd that attends shows to watch her and reciprocate whatever she does on stage.
This is what she gave the sizeable number of fans that had braved the chilly weather to attend the Bulawayo Jazz festival. In sync with her backing vocalists and band they were a well-oiled machine on stage and did not miss a beat. Ammara had touched down on Friday afternoon at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport but just blended with her band with ease. Fans had come to watch her perform Akiliz, Watchu Want, Mukoko and Bhachura which have become instant hits over the years. And she obliged even inviting some fans on stage to dance with her adding to the fun.
After an hour of on stage, after going on just after 1.30AM, she was done.
With her sojourn in South Africa, it will be some time until she returns to perform in Zimbabwe, let alone in Bulawayo.
Before Ammara went on stage, artistes from the city showed that there is so much talent that’s hidden from fans and such platforms are ideal to showcase their talents.
Stand out performances were from Gugu & The African Rhythms, The Outfit Band led by the gorgeous Mimi Tarukwana, Anotida & Shadows Band and Amatungwa Amahle.
The king of covers in Bulawayo Ramsy K had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as he dished out renditions of Lovemore Majaivana, Leonard Dembo and Fanuel Dube. People danced themselves to a standstill, sang themselves hoarse during his set. Jeys Marabini and Prosper & The Smart Birds closed off the show at around 3AM.