HARARE – Award-winning Nigerian music star D’Banj attracted a large crowd on Saturday night in his Lion Lager Summer Festival debut but generally failed to live up to the pre-gig hype.
With a track record that includes the 2009 MTV Africa Artist of the Year award and the enviable distinction of being the first African to sign for Kanye West’s G.O.O.D label, it was understandable that the fans expected much more than the self-declared Koko Master delivered.
The general feeling in the crowd was that the 33-year-old Oliver Twist hit-maker failed to match the very high standards set by fellow Nigerian megastars P-Square who set last year’s Lion Lager Summer Festival alive with a well-choreographed and action-packed performance.
The Nigerian musician’s popularity in Zimbabwe has been largely down to two songs Oliver Twist and Fall in Love and this meant that the crowd had previously not heard most of the songs he played on the night.
Songs such as Igwe and Mr Endowed failed to excite the crowd.
Perhaps the most boring part of the show was when the Koko Master invited Ammara Brown and nine other women to dance with him while he performed Mr Endowed.
That part of the show dragged on for a long time, frustrating the crowd even more.
The other foreign performer on the night was 36-year-old Ugandan reggae musician Moses “Bebe Cool” Ssali.
The East African favourite delivered an energetic performance that fused raga and conscious reggae rhythms.
With Bebe Cool’s songs totally unknown in Zimbabwe it was not surprising that the crowd took long to warm up to him.
The Ugandan, who had largely been ignored by the media in the run-up to the Lion Lager Summer Festival, delivered a much better performance than the crowd had anticipated.
Though Guspy Warrior and King Shaddy made Zimbabwe proud with some passionate performances, the star of the night was without doubt the self-styled ninja president himself Winky D.
The fans enthusiastically sang along throughout the Mafirakureva hit-maker’s action-packed act and gave the Glamis Arena a carnival atmosphere it had lacked all night.
With the benefit of hindsight, making Winky D the last performer on the night could have enabled the 2013 Lion Lager Summer Festival to sign off on a happier note.
Guspy Warrior, the man behind the mammoth hit Seunonga, must justifiably be proud of his exploits on the night.
The crowd could not have enough of the son of gospel legend Mechanic Manyeruke who had to perform again by public demand after his slot had ended.