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10th anniversary of Imbizo Family Night lives up to its billing

Nomazulu Moyo

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwean acappella music group, Imbizo Messengers, gave their fans another day to remember recently, when they held their 2019 edition of the annual Imbizo Family Night.

The group, formed in 1991 in Godlwayo, Filabusi – Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South Province, gave yet another top drawer perfomance, giving money’s worth to the full house that came to watch the musical show at the Hillbrow Theatre Saturday night.

The show was a worthy celebration of the 10 years it has been held since it was inaugurated in 1999 and the well-travelled group did not disappoint, giving out a scintillating performance that left fans asking for more.

Amog the songs that sent the full house to a frenzy was “Highlander”,  a song dedicated to Bulawayo-based Zimbabwean soccer giants, Highlanders FC, who are the age-old pride of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland region. So popular is the song that the whole house was jerked up  from their seats to sing along the popular and culturallysignificant song.

Imbizo leader, Mr Phuthumani Cele, said they had managed to remain united for so many years because they respected both one another and their fans.

“Our fans motivate us because it has become our culture that every October we have this show,” said Cele.

“Even our fans are always organized in this show. It is God’s love that has kept us together for so long, while the respect we have for one another as brothers has also been our driving force, which has kept us going.”

This year’s show was unique in the sense that some members of Imbizo Messengers’ founding members were also there, including Muzomkhulu Ndlovu, who is now based in the UK but traveled all the way to perform with his band members.

Mr Ndlovu said: “Imbizo songs can be listened to by everyone – kids, youth and adults, because they have a strong message from which one can always learn. They also sing motivating songs because they sing about life in general.”

One fan, Linet Ndlovu, said she travelled all the way from Bulawayo – Zimbabwe’s second largest city, to attend the event.

Imbizo Messengers belted out some of their best songs at the Hillbrow Theatre, Johannesburg

The event also drew gospel music singers like Knowledge Nkiwane, Sisters of Paradise, Ithemba Labakholwayo, Imbube groups like Inkanyezi Zezulu, Ondabezinhle and maskandi group Inkazimulo Afro Melodies.

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