By Ngoni Dapira for The Zimbo Jam – Zimbabwe’s veteran singer/guitarist Steve Dhongi Makoni, has despite, his reputation and unquestionable raw talent as an entertainer, stupefied and disappointed fans with his lack of professionalism after failing to complete a show in Mutare last week as he was intoxicated by alcohol.
Dhongi who takes his stage name after one of his most popular songs of all time, entitled Sabhuku performed on Monday 12 July at the first anniversary of Sports Café in Mutare, or perhaps we should say- tried to perform.
If it had been a social gig where he was not being paid, maybe his behaviour could have been excusable, but in this was a private, formal dinner and Dhongi, due to his drunken state, was only able to struggle through five songs before his voice broke into total discord.
Time and time again, Zimbabwean musicians have come under fire for not being professional in their conduct. The issue of mixing alcohol with performances has angered fans and promoters many times over, mainly with younger musicicians. However, one does not expect such conduct from a man of Makoni’s stature.
Makoni is set to make his comeback in 2010 after a long silence, with his seventh album titled ‘Munibho’. That is street language for born location. He said his forthcoming eight track album was supposed to have been out in March but has been delayed till August. He also revealed that the album will feature Tuku in two songs.
“On my upcoming album I have two songs with Oliver Mtukudzi that we have not yet finished and due to the untimely death of Sam Mtukudzi in March and his busy schedule since,” he said. “I will only get the time to finish the tracks with Tuku in August, which is when I hope to launch my album.”
Makoni last released an album in 2007 titled “Ndada Ndada Ndada: Rhythm of the Heart. His music embraces rich Shona poetry and folktales reflecting on life experiences. Some of his popular tracks include Handiende, Zvachonyana, Maidei and Sweetie. With his velvety, raspy voice and unsullied touch on the acoustic guitar, the veteran solo guitarist is a good performer who usually leaves revellers enthralled by his humour and laid back charm.
The popular dance group, Girls La Musica, filled in the gap and covered up for Dhongi’s blotch, entertaining revellers for the rest of the evening.
Sports Café is a sports bar and nightclub that was opened in June 2009 and has become a popular pleasure centre in Mutare. It was formerly called Blue Moon and had become a seedy, run down bar until it was taken over by G3 Big Fun Entertainment last year.