We didn’t know what to expect as we walked into Club Sankayi in Harare. The made-up lady hostesses welcomed us into the club. It wasn’t full yet but the car park was promising. It was just half an hour before midnight, we were ready for Malume Tira to do the thing. The last time I had seen Tira live in Harare was in 2016 at the AfroFusion Concert; then it wasn’t an unimpressive yet palatable performance. This time, we were hoping for a different type of night- so much that we didn’t want to taint the experience with alcohol.
Yes, a sober night at Harare’s plushest of clubs, on a night when the literal life of the party was going to perform.
Talk about an extreme sport!
As a non-regular, at best, I was not expecting to be wowed.
While we waited, we got acquainted with the #SankayiLifestyle everyone kept ranting and raving about! Every few minutes more hostesses would saunter past us with expensive bottles of cognac, whiskey and champagne dressed in flares. The flares and sparkly lights served their ultimate purpose and drew tonnes of attention to their destinations. The tables alternated stereotypes of burly old men, young shifty looking men, foreign-looking men with mainly two things in common, a taste for expensive liquor and the company of beautiful, well-dressed women.
Tira’s entrance was like that of a human-sized bottle of something expensive, a trail of hostesses with flares, sparklers and lit letters that spelt out ‘DJ TIRA’ led him. As he walked in, the club erupted into cheers and applause. I couldn’t quite understand why the DJ at that moment thought it a great idea to play DJ Cleo and Bricks’ ‘Get together‘ though! I assumed he just picked a song in his ‘SA House’ folder.
After half an hour later of watching everyone have a good time we moved from the periphery and closer to the DJ booth just in time for Trill Angel to do the type of shimmy dance I’d pay for. Little did I know this was just the beginning, Sankayi was not done with us yet, sober or otherwise. Just after Tira made it to the booth and shit got absolutely wild. The ladies screamed and so did the guys. On stage with Tira were a guitarist and percussionist who warmed up to an excited crowd.
It snuck in unexpected, the vibe caught us unawares, Tira’s Amadada dance crew jumped onto the DJ booth and did the kinds of vosho that defied gravity. All the while I was having the time of my life, girls jumped onto speakers, bodies rubbed against each other in rebellion against every single Cholera Awareness text. The brimming club swayed to ‘Sfuna Abo Chomi’, ‘Omunye’, ‘Malume’ and ‘Fakaza’. When Tira jumped onto the DJ booth and showed off his footwork, I forgave him for his last performance, I even forgave him for saying he didn’t know that Mampintsha was being trash to Babes, I remembered why he is one of South Africa’s biggest entertainers.
Yes, I believed he was Durban’s finest!
Tira exceeded expectations and could teach a number of DJs something regarding entertainment value. Just as I was having the time of my life and meditating on this revelation, I realised my phone was missing.
That managed to shorten my night quite promptly saying good-bye to the kickass videos I hoped to share with you guys.
That thief is the fastest party pooper mos, a fucking killjoy I’ll say.
I truly underestimated both Tira and Sankayi that night. Despite my phone and I going on unwanted separation, I had a bloody great time. And faaaark yaaas, I would be back for another dose of that Sankayi Lifestyle…less my smartphone of course! 😜