Rhumba music has almost been scrubbed from public memory, despite having been the most captivating and influential music genre during my formative years. This music genre has always been a well-known commodity amongst the older generation, and it’s reflected in how easily excited they get on hearing a name like Koffi Olomide, who is popularly known as La Grand Mopao Mokonzi or Shakespeare of Zaire.
Once a soothing melodious voice starts blasting through the speakers inside the auditorium, belting these loosely translated lyrics, it’s a signal that music is now being taken to a whole new level inside the Harare International Conference Centre, at the time of writing, the video for this hit track had been viewed more than 39 million times on YouTube.
The King aka El Profesor is currently on the road having embarked on the Tokooos Tour, and its delightful watching video clips of his recent concerts in Yaoundé and Kinshasa, as he serenaded expectant crowds with songs that span the entirety of his splashy catalogue.
One can trace the birth of Faustin Ipupa N’simba’s musical journey to the year 1999 when as a 22-year-old he became a member of Koffi Olomide’s soukous band called Quartier Latin International. Faustin better known as Fally Ipupa on sage was a part of the golden generation of young Rhumba luminaries that included Bouro Mpela, Montana Kamenga, Soliel Wanga and Ferre Gola, who thrilled fans across the world, performing together as members of the award-winning group.
Whilst he is having his moment in the sun following the smash success of his latest 18 track album Tokooos, Fally Ipupa continues to prove that he is a master of song. It should always be remembered, such is his prowess that at one time, a song called Naza Cotoyo which he did as an advert for beer manufacturer Skol, became a hit.
As we look ahead to the Eloko Oyo hitmaker performing in Harare this weekend, the local Rhumba crowd will be hoping that the self-proclaimed King of Music will not disappoint, as they have had to endure a long period without a live Rhumba concert headlined by a real current superstar. The Soukous crooner will not stand alone however, he’ll be flanked by local musicians of nearly equal ambitious regard and ambitions such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Extra Musica and new kid around the Rhumba block – Juntal. As recent as the night of 15 May, there was another reason for the King of Music to be grateful, as his name was among the nominees for the BET Awards 2018 (Best International Act), a ceremony to be held next month.
Commenting on the programming for the upcoming show Ginimbi highlighted his motivations for invoking this musical nostalgia.
“My job as a promoter is to bring something new and nice to Zimbabwe…Fally has been in the game for a while and I think Zimbabweans who remember when Rhumba was a big deal and remember Koffi will enjoy him…let’s see what they’ll say”
Ginimbi, who is launching a new club in Harare called Sankayi just this week expressed the incorporation of quality local entertainment in an entertainment-starved Zimbabwe.
“We will have local acts but not all of them at the same time…I believe no-one has really invested in Zimbabwe’s night life and that’s what I am doing” he concluded.
Despite the security risks, that seems not to be much of a deterrent as people are willing to overlook that, so as to enjoy what has become a rare occurrence in our not too distant past. “Considering Chez Ntemba closed, in Harare, we only have Ambassador Hotel for rhumba outings, yet so many of us love rhumba. I thank Ginimbi for the entertainment he is bringing to Zimbabwe and at an affordable rate.
The Fally Ipupa Concert, Ginimbi’s second take after the mammoth Davido – 30 Billion Concert is on this weekend on the 26th of May at the Harare International Conference Centre. The last show was not without its warts and merits featuring great performances and viral scenes of violence captured by patrons in the VVIP no less. Fans and critics alike are hopeful that security will be better equipped this time.
As has become the norm at any event organized by Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, almost without exception, this is yet another excuse for the ostentatious display of privilege and wealth, as just like at the Davido concert there will be a $2,000.00 Platinum Package, which comprises; $2,000.00 worth of alcohol, 5 free tickets and a personal waiter. For the meek, General Entry tickets are going at $15, VIP $30 while VVIP is $70. For sure, this time we will enjoy for real. Having understood the limits of time, we will exit the auditorium to go home, fulfilled and having enjoyed the fruits of our ingenuity. All thanks to Ginimbi on the 26th of May.
Here’s a taste of what’s to come…