HARARE – No untried band in the history of Zimbabwean music has ever attracted so much hype and controversy as Extra Kwazvose.
With neither a show nor a song to their name, the offshoot of Alick Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo has attracted over 6 000 followers just two months after signing up for Facebook.
Extra Kwazvose regularly posts pictures of their rehearsals as well as general information on the group’s plans.
Predictably the group’s social media page is packed with support and criticism in equal measure. While many people regularly post messages on the Facebook page in support of the group’s ambitious venture, there are others who doubt Extra Kwazvose’s ability to create an impact in the competitive Sungura genre.
Animated arguments between the pro-Extra Kwazvose fans and those who appear to be aligned to Macheso, are a common feature on the vibrant social media page.
The interest in the group, which is composed of lead guitarist Nowell Nyazanda, dancer/vocalist Franco Slomo, Congo-born chanter Jonas Kasamba and drummer Obert Gomba, has stretched beyond the borders of Zimbabwe.
Last Friday afternoon they were interviewed by an Australia-based Internet radio station called Visions FM run by Zimbabweans.
With their much-hyped album launch just 10 days away, sungura followers have every reason to wait for the big day with optimism. Many fans are keen to see if the group is the real deal or just another ragtag collection of musicians bound together by their gripe with sungura kingpin Macheso.
Extra Kwazvose could not have wished for a better launchpad than the high-profile July 12 show at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex promoted by crafty promoter Barbara Chikosi of Red Rose Entertainment who has done a lot to hype the show.
The Macheso rebels will share the stage with crowd-pullers Jah Prayzah, Suluman Chimbetu and Peter Moyo.
Not many music groups get the chance to launch their debut album sharing the stage with such illustrious bands. It will be a really big opportunity for Extra Kwazvose to launch in a spectacular way but should they should they fail to pull it off, it could consign them to history just after one step.