Alick Macheso in a big fight with Jah Prayzah

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Macheso mobbed by fans at a show held in Nyanga last Sunday - Pictures by Kudakwashe Hunda

IT’S going to be a dog-eat-dog affair this Thursday, December 31 as various local artistes and promoters battle for supremacy.
Top acts in the music industry – Jah Prayzah and sungura king Alick Macheso – will this New Year’s Eve perform at different venues at almost the same time.
Posters for the two shows that are circulating on social media both feature Winky D and this has left fans worried.
The same scenario obtained beginning of this month when the high-flying Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu were billed to perform at two high profile gigs.

It’s going to be a clash of titans as Jah Prayzah and Alick Macheso battle for fans on New Year’s Eve — Pic: Kudakwashe Hunda
It’s going to be a clash of titans as Jah Prayzah and Alick Macheso battle for fans on New Year’s Eve — Pic: Kudakwashe Hunda

One of the promoters’ show ended up suffering.
Therefore, there are fears that one of the two shows will flop again.
With the legendary Jamaican group Morgan Heritage out of the way, a level playing field has been created for the top crowd pullers to battle and prove a point or two on the last big day of 2015.
Jah Prayzah who has this year attracted some of the best crowds in the showbiz has decided to borrow a concept “Fill Up the Coca Cola Dome” from South Africa’s Casper Nyovest, and he will test his pull factor through the “Fill Up the HICC” gig slated for December 31.
And to guarantee that the concept is a success, they have roped in the services of the evergreen dendera crooner Suluman Chimbetu and the charismatic and energetic Zim dancehall artistes Winky D, Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz.
Winky D is riding high following the release of his singles collection that include tracks like “Survivor”, Disappear and “I’m Not Nice”.
But on this same day – New Year’s Eve – top promoter Josh Hozheri has also organised a rival show featuring sungura king Alick Macheso at Pamuzinda Ice and Fire dubbed “New Year’s Eve Party-Album Release Concert” and Winky D is also being associated with the gig.
Add to that, they will be another Zim dancehall gig dubbed “Mbare Kings Dancehall Bush” at the Mbare Netball Complex featuring Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz.
The major question is will all the artistes that have been booked for different shows be able to do justice to them?
It seems local musicians are yet to fully master the art of killing two birds with a single stone.
In the past, double-bookings spoiled some otherwise good shows when some advertised artistes failed to pitch up.
However, Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze said everything is under control. He said they have finalised deals with every artiste that appears on their poster.
“Yes, I have also heard people saying Winky D will also be performing at another gig on the same day that he is supposed to feature at our concert. What I can assure our fans is that everything is under control. Winky D has more than assured us that he is going to fulfil his commitment with us no matter what,” said Mushapaidze.
He added that they had put mechanisms in place to make sure that every artiste who is scheduled to perform does so without fail.
“Professionalism is an integral part of our ensemble. The moment you see us placing someone on our poster, it means that we have finalised everything with the artiste(s) and his or her management. This is the reason why we had to add Sulu later on, and even Winky D. We first had to make sure that they are free on the day for the gig,” he explained.
“This is also the same issue with Seh Calaz, Soul Jah Love, Alexio Kawara, Roki, DJ Stavo and Judgment Yard.”
In the past weeks before the cancellation of the Morgan Heritage gig, odds were proving to be against Jah Prayzah and his troops in their quest to attract 5 000 revellers to fill up the HICC.
The Morgan Heritage show was supposed to play at the City Sports, thereby creating a platform for direct competition.
But recent developments, that also include superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi rescheduling his Pakare Paye New Year’s Eve gig to 2016, have re-ignited the Third Generations hope of filling up the gigantic HICC.
Jah Prayzah has filled the HICC before during his album launches. However, this will be the first time that the group will be holding a show outside album launches at this auditorium.
The HICC is known for previously hosting sold out shows for visiting international artistes as well as music superstar Tuku.
Mushapaidze views the challenge of the day differently.
“We are not going into a battle with anyone. This gig is a way of thanking our fans for vibrantly supporting us throughout the year. Also we have worked with most of the artistes on the poster thus we are saying, it was a great year comrades, let’s keep the fire burning in 2016,” said Mushapaidze.
In an interview, Macheso’s public relations official, Tich Makahamadze confirmed that they had a scheduled gig for December 31. He also confirmed that there were plans to have Winky D as one of their supporting acts although he quickly referred further question to the event organiser – Josh Hozheri.
“We are supposed to play on December 31 at Pamuzinda. I’m not sure of the supporting acts that have been confirmed so far but I’m told Winky D was supposed to be part of them although you will have to confirm this with the organiser of the show,” said Makahamadze.
Hozheri explained the mix-up.
“Winky D had initially agreed to be part of the gig following the cancellation of the Morgan Heritage show in which he had been billed to perform as a supporting act. He, however, later opted out after we had created the first draft of our posters. We have since replaced him with Soul Jah Love and DJ cables,” said Hozheri.
Winky D’s manager Jonathan Banda said he never dealt with Hozheri.
Attendance figures for Macheso’s gigs have been noise diving as fans protest over his perennial postponement of releasing new material.
This time around, it is hoped he will do the right thing