Selmor Mtukudzi’s litmus test….will sympathy pull numbers?

Once upon a time in the summer of 2011, Andy Miller Hall witnessed a historical musical stride.

For the first time the late national hero Oliver Mtukudzi shared the stage with sungura ace Alick Macheso and that show will forever remain etched in many a music lover’s mind.

It was a fusion of Katekwe and sungura music all in one night!

The star studded line-up also  included the late Tongai Moyo, then rising  dancehall star Winky D and Sulumani Chimbetu who himself was crafting his own history after taking over the dendera ship following the death of his father Simon .

It was a rare show indeed.

Fast forward eight years later on March 29, we have an almost similar scenario or should I call it   deja –vu at the same venue.

Andy Miller Hall will witness another piece of history as Selmor Mtukudzi scribbles the first notes to a new story ,  as the heir to the Mtukudzi music legacy.

Members of the original Black Spirits like Sam Mataure and Picky Kasamba will play with Selmor in a set up that will definitely evoke a nolstagic feeling.

Selmor will be joined by Sulumani Chimbetu, Jah Seed, Sasha, Jah Signal and Steve Makoni in a gig dubbed Tuku – The Music Lives On.

The court of public opinion has since the death of Oliver Mtukudzi suggested that Selmor was the natural heir to the musical legacy but family feud and squabbles have been dominating instead of the music playing on as the late Tuku would have wanted it to.

The 2011 show was as grand as they come and now the question is  will the March 29 show live to its billing?

A billing suitable to celebrate the icon who according to the show title, whose  legacy must live on.

Selmor is not new to the stage, she is an award winning artiste, well travelled and has an inimitable voice – but the boots she is about to fill are bigger than Godzilla’s shoes.

We have had many children of departed legends failing to surpass the high bar set but then of course every artiste has his or her strength and weakness.

As Peter Moyo argued ‘I am Peter’, Tongai was Tongai’ !  

The Andy Miller concert  is the closest and nearest show where music lovers will see a continuation of the Mtukudzi legacy.

One thing for sure, the sympathy people have following the passing of Oliver Mtukudzi might work in the favour of the concert but will that be enough to fill up Andy Miller hall.

Will people come in numbers?

A concert must have a product that is worthy, and whilst celebrating the legacy of Mtukudzi is a worthy product enough, it should be coupled with other attractions to make it a total package.

For numbers’ sake the line-up should have been stronger and organisers should have been prudent enough  to rope in some heavyweights like Jah Prayzah or Alick Macheso.

Those are natural crowd pullers and it has been proven, they have set precedence.

The 2011 fete of Macheso and Mtukudzi was a rare sight, rare enough to fill the auditoriums but the promoter at the time Chipaz, made provisions for other supporting acts like Tongai Moyo as well as Sulumani Chimbetu and Winky D.

In the forthcoming show,, it seems there is no big attraction – product wise, with either little known artistes or those that are struggling to fill auditoriums – no need to mention names.

Of note on the line up Jah Signal is a rising star and his inclusion will definitely be interesting but he is yet to be tested in his ability to fill such auditoriums, the inclusion of Jah Seed and Steve Makoni is surprising as the two have been not visible on the local market.

Being a celebration of Mtukudzi’s legacy, truly any artist has the right to be on the line up but still there remains need of a trending artiste and crowd puller  on the line-up to draw numbers.

Apart from the sympathy people have over Oliver Mtukudzi’s death, it remains to be seen if the concert will attract the numbers enough to witness a befitting commemoration of the late music icon and national hero.

It must be understood dera reader, that as much as this show is a celebration of Tuku’s life , it is not a charity show and promoters also need to make money.

They love Tuku, they love Selmor , they love music but above all it is an ugly fact that they are in the business of making money!