Alick Macheso and his band perform at Independence celebrations in the capital

Alick Macheso and his band perform at Independence celebrations in the capital

Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
During the liberation struggle morale in camps was boosted by music and it played an important role until the end of the struggle in 1980 when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time. Thirty-five years later, people still enjoy music and on Saturday thousands of people who thronged the National Sports Stadium for the Independence celebrations were entertained as musicians thrilled.

The celebrations were running under the theme “Zimbabwe @35: Consolidating Peace, Unity, Peace and Economic Sovereignty”.

Despite the wet weather, Alick Macheso, Pastor Charles and Olivia Charamba, as well as Mbare Chimurenga Choir did their best to keep thousands of people entertained as they celebrated 35 years of freedom.

Umbrellas were enough to cover the musicians from the rains as they were doing what they know best on stage.

Macheso took to the stage early in the morning as thousands were getting in the stadium including senior Government officials.

The musician’s dancers jumped off stage and displayed their dancing skills on the ground.

Songs “Shedia”, “Charakupa” and “Madhawu” were enough to kept merry makers entertained as they awaited President Mugabe to lead the proceedings.

In an interview after the performance, Macheso said the day was very important to every Zimbabwean.

“As you can see people have come in numbers to celebrate the day despite the rains. This day is important to every Zimbabwean including us musicians as we are enjoying the fruits of independence,” he said.

Various choral groups including famed Mbare Chimurenga Choir performed.

Displays from different groups were the order of the day and it kept fans whistling and ululating despite the rains.

After the President’s speech music selectors put to the fore dancehall music and Soul Jah Love’s “Kuponda Nhamo”, Tocky Vibes’ “Simudzai Maoko”, Ricky Fire’s “Kana Uchitamba” warmed up the crowd as they sang along waiting for Pastor Charamba and his wife Olivia to perform.

The Charambas who performed late afternoon ushered merrymakers into a prayer mood.

Clad in a white suit and black shirt the musician’s dressing was timely as the colours represents peace and black people.

Their opening song was “Africa” before playing “Nyika Zimbabwe” a song that has become an anthem since its release in 2010.

It was during the song when the musician reminded people that they need to pray for xenophobia victims in South Africa.

He played several other songs and played “Buruka” as two football teams FC Platinum and Dynamos made their entry into the stadium for the Independence Trophy finals.

The musician said he was humbled to be part of the event that is important in the history of the country.

“We are happy to be part of this event and we always thank God for that,” he said.