Red-hot chanter Winky D ushered revellers into 2016 at Harare International Conference Centre with a massive perfomance that saw him being given a standing ovation after the show.
The Kambuzuma-bred singer showed why he has been dubbed the dancehall king, churning sing alongs and making people dance to his songs throughout his show.
Dressed in all white, Winky D’s interaction with the crowd was next to none, leaving patrons singing some of his hit songs. He was energetic throughout the show and it was not surprising that when he winded up his performance, people demanded for an encore.
However, the climax of the show came when Gafa — as Winky D is known in entertainment circles — counted down into the new year before bursting into his popular hit Problems Disappear.
Many people were caught in the frenzy as they screamed, banged floors and sang with him.
“Winky D has reclaimed his glory, it will be difficult to surpass him,” said one of the revellers. With Winky D having set the bar high, many artistes failed to match his standard, with Roki performing just three songs before missiles rained on him.
Roki opened his act with his 2015 best song, Hallelujah, but the crowd would not have it. The crowd, however, warmed up to his other song Chidzoka for some minutes before he was asked to leave the stage. When he defied calls to leave, people started throwing empty cans of beverages at him and he left unceremoniously. The trend continued with Seh Calaz and Brian Kadengu receiving the same treatment.
However, the shocker of the night came when Jah Prayzah’s Third Generation Band was forced to temporarily leave the stage as missiles rained on them.
Jah Prayzah, who was the main act, was supposed to perform for 1 hour 30 minutes and he wanted his band to warm up the stage for him for half an hour.
“How can Jah Prayzah make us pay money to see his band perform a Lucky Dube song?” fumed another show-goer.
In the 27th minute of the band being on stage, the crowd became restless and started throwing missiles on stage, forcing the whole band to retreat.
Sensing danger, Jah Prayzah then came on stage with the opening lines, “munondikandira matombo munzira yangu” (You throw spanners in my works).
His appearance was welcomed with a rapturous applause. He went on to give an above average performance that was punctuated with a well-drilled and choreographed act.
However, Jah Prayzah lasted for just an hour.
Other artistes who had a relatively good day in office included Trevor Dongo who was popular with ladies, Extra Large who only performed one song and Alexio Kawara.
King Shady made a cameo appearance, but managed to entertain patrons with an acapella version of his song.
The show, which was running under the theme, Fill Up the HICC, was well-attended though the 5 000 seater venue was not filled to the rafters.