A festivity mood filled the Harare International Conference Centre on Monday 8th of August as people thronged the venue for the Heroes gala headlined by South African Afro-pop duo, Mafikizolo.
Hence for the past two years, Heroes was not celebrated live due to the Covid-19 containment restrictions and this year was different following the recession of the pandemic, people celebrated the day in their respective provinces.
Music is a great way of communicating; it has the power to influence for a social cause.
The gala, which started at exactly six o’clock in the evening, had an opening performance by Selmor Mtukudzi whose playlist comprised both her songs and her late father Oliver Mtukudzi ‘s tracks, celebrating him as a hero as well.
Some of the tracks she performed included Tsika dzedu, Manyemwe, Zvine basa reyi and Amai nababa.
After Selmor’s performance, the venue immediately shifted to something like a church praise and worship session led by the energetic Agatha Murudzwa.
Artistes from diverse musical genres showcased their talents to the people who thronged the venue and DJ Fantan, who also paid tribute to the late dancehall chanter Soul Jah Love, mixed several songs in the local dancehall genre.
Enzo did not waste time, he immediately belted out Muchiround, Kanjiva and Ahoyi, among others. He then invited the energetic Van Choga who was greeted by deafening screams.
After him urban grooves star Roki sauntered onto the stage with his Patati patata, Screenshot igunshot, Uchandifunga and his yesteryear song Chidzoka.
Just after Roki, Sandra Ndebele took to the stage and as usual she caught the crowd’s attention with her dances while singing Guva rangu with many fans joining her.
Like the saying “save the best for the last,” which is the moment everyone had been waiting for finally arrived, that is the arrival of Mafikizolo.
The duo, made up of Nhlanhla Nciza and male composer Theo Kgosinkwe, performed the songs Love Potion, Ngeke Balunge, Kona and Ndihamba Nawe which the audience sang along to.
Mafikizolo appreciated fans for their support over the 25 years they have been in music.
Though they were not the last ones to perform, the closing act was by Amos Mahendere who thanked fans for coming to celebrate Heroes Day.
The fact that musicians like Oliver Mtukudzi, Simon Chimbetu, Soul Jah Love and Cde Chinx, have been declared heroes, signify how music is essential in defining a society.
During the country’s liberation war, music played a pivotal role in boosting morale, and it increased the freedom fighters’ zeal to endure to rigors of the bush war.
Not only did these songs boost the fighters’ morale, but they also acted as a message of encouragement to parents to send their children to war and songs like Thomas Mapfumo’s Zimbabwe Mozambique come to mind.
Besides the hero’s gala, at the sacred National Heroes Acre ceremony, several musical groups that included, the Zimbabwe Republic Police band and Mbare Chimurenga Choir entertained the crowds that comprised of almost everyone, across the political divide, religious persuasion and families of dear departed heroes and heroines.