Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
When I watched Andy Muridzo performing live in Bulawayo, it became clear why Jah Prayzah could not tolerate him – the guy is just too good.
Jah Prayzah and his Military Touch Movement should be forgiven for somehow frustrating Andy out of their record label because he was a threat. Who would want to equip and nurture their biggest threat and risk being made obsolete at the end?
MTM should actually be commended for letting Andy go because he is finally out of his shell.
Andy and Jah Prayzah are alike — the only difference is that the other one has made it big with corporates and big names buying in while the other is struggling and is still trying to make a name for himself. With the same style (both play the mbira) and similar band compositions with a military touch – it’s difficult to be a fan of Jah Prayzah and not fall for Andy. Take it this way – Jah Prayzah is Castle Lager and Andy is Castle Lite.
In fact, if one watches Andy live in action – like I did on Saturday evening – they may even have a change of heart and consider having Andy on top of their playlist simply because Andy is very talented and is a complete package.
Complete package because he does not only perform his tracks but shows his versatility by cutting across genres – performing reggae, dancehall and even Bulawayo oldies. This definitely makes his set unique as he, over the years, has mastered the art of captivating crowds – when they seem bored by some of his songs that they do not know yet – he turns up the heat by ably performing dancehall hits.
During his performance at Club Connect on Saturday, Andy showed many that he was a man on a mission. Here was a man who had been setback by MTM and dancer Bev Sibanda but was not willing to let these hiccups bring him down as he desperately wants to reclaim his rightful slot.
Performing nonstop for a solid three hours, Andy, who started off performing for a handful of people at 11PM ended up with a full house by 1AM as his voice, which could be heard from outside – attracted more and more people.
The show had been poorly marketed – likely because the promoter felt Andy – since he is not known by many people – did not have the potential to bring in numbers. Well, they were wrong because he attracted a decent paying crowd.
Performing some songs from his new album – Munondo and fusing them with hits – Dherira and Dhafu Dunda from his previous albums, Andy and his Jeetaz Band got the nod they needed in the city. And, they left quite rich as a lot of 2 Bond notes were thrown their way each time he, his dancers or lead guitarist wowed the audience.
The band, also hungry for fame and success put up a spirited show as their energy was felt in the audience that was on their feet for the better part of the show. The female backing vocalist – the only one for now as the other recently gave birth – also captivated the male patrons with her sweet voices, dances and beauty.
Andy on his part – showed off his talent by ably imitating Jah Prayzah’s voice when he performed the track – Chekeche in which Jah Prayzah and his Military Touch Movement artistes are featured.
One could have been forgiven for vouching that Jah Prayzah was in the club as Andy mimicked him well. As if that was not enough, he went on to fuse reggae and dancehall into his set by performing tracks from artistes – Busy Signal, Lucky Dube and a plethora of Zimdancehall hits. Quite a show off he is.
Conscious of the city he was performing in, Andy threw in renditions of Lovemore Majaivana into his performance, sending the crowd into a frenzy. The crowd reciprocated by throwing more tips onto the stage with some taking selfies with him.
All in all, Andy, who left for Goromonzi just after the show, has a bright future ahead of him as things seem to be looking up for him. All he needs now is a professional management that will ensure that he does not make misguided decisions. To his credit, Munondo album is a masterpiece that will likely take him places especially tracks Petunia and Maidei.