Melissa Mpofu in Harare
AT this point, there is no turning back for Selmor Mtukudzi who this past weekend proved that she is the rightful heiress to Tuku Music with a successful album launch.
The album, Dehwe ReNzou, produced by South Africa’s Steve Dyer has 11 tracks —Mandidzimbira, Mbodza, Zvine Basa Rei, Unconditional Love, Tanda Mbizi, Wadzipwa, Uchafinhwa, Tawanda Sei?, Ngoma Ngaitsve, Usareve Nhema and Babe Can I?
Performing in front of an appreciative audience at the RM Garden Hall Exhibition Park in Harare on Friday evening, it was clear Selmor is destined for dizzy heights as she performed like a professional.
It was an intimate affair as she, from time to time, thanked those who attended the launch for believing in her. She also promised not to let them down.
It was clear she was overwhelmed and did not take the live and TV audience for granted. The show was broadcast live on ZBCtv. As a way of showing her appreciation, she delivered a flawless, well-choreographed act that won her many new fans.
With the support of her husband, Tendai Manatsa, her sister Sandra, Black Spirits’ Picky Kasamba and Never Mpofu on bass, there was no way Selmor was going to fail the litmus test. Also supporting her in the crowd were her in-laws — the Manatsas and her biggest financier, Impala Car Rental boss Thompson Dondo.
She spiced up her set by performing her old hits — Nguva Yangu and Hangasa as well as her father’s yesteryear hits. From time to time, she would sample some of her new tracks with Zvine Basa Rei being the crowd’s favourite. She also performed Mandidzimbira — a tribute to her father, Uchafinhwa and Mbodza.
This event was very different from other album launches because from the onset, it was clear Selmor was more interested in seeing people have a good time as she allowed them to get into the venue with their cooler boxes at no charge. This was a welcome development for most and it saw the crowd loosening up.
As if that was not enough, all those who attended the launch were given free copies of the new album, a good way Selmor dealt with piracy.
Sulumani, son of the late Simon Chimbetu wowed the audience after he made a cameo appearance on stage and helped Selmor sing one of her late father’s tracks. After the performance, he said he could not resist joining Selmor on stage as her show reminded him of when his father died.
“I just want to say to my sister Selmor and her husband, this road that you’re walking is the same as the one I travelled after the death of my father. My advice to you is just be cool, humble, stay focused and you’ll go forward.
“You have the support of the fans and ours so you’re doing just fine,” said Sulumani.
Moments after Sulumani left the stage, Selmor was joined on stage by Sungura maestro, Alick Macheso for yet another cameo appearance. He also performed one of her father’s tracks with her and the crowd went into a frenzy.
Interestingly, it was later revealed that Macheso who closed off the show, refused to be paid for his performance.
“When we asked Macheso how much he’d want for his performance, he refused saying Selmor was his daughter so he would just come to perform as a way of supporting her career,” event promoter, Josh Hozheri said while commending Macheso for his gesture.
But as fate would have it, Macheso may just have left with more money than he would have been paid by the promoter as people who were in the VIP and VVIP sections kept pulling him to the side during his performance to put US dollars into his pockets.
After Selmor concluded her performance, she, unlike other artistes, took time to meet and greet fans as well as pose for photos, something which endeared her to the fans. Chronicle