HARARE Ela the Garden, Newlands was the rendezvous of an extraodinary and eventful launch of Extended Play by Rodney Zowa recently.
Born and raised in Murehwa, Zowa broke geographical stereotypical barriers of rural life which is synonymous with poverty by launching his EP in the affluent suburb of Newlands.
“Conversations – The Prelude”, the EP was so epic from the design and the actual act.
The garden, Ela was converted into an art gallery, as sculptures of the little known but much talented Jephias Makono was placed on vantage point that upon entering the garden you would not miss artistical talent personified into sculpture.
Makono, a liberation veteran himself narrated how he exchanged the barrel for the hammer.
The writer will leave the ‘barrel for the hammer’ story for another epistle.
Based in Murehwa, where he is also into piggery, Makono bemoaned digital devide due to his advanced age as the reason why his art was not that popular and uncelebrated despite the display of unscripted talent.
It was so artiful, how the sculptures were strategically mingled with canvas paintings by Ishmael Phiri.
Phiri, who has never been to any art school, displayed his artistical geniousness on canvas which left fans aware with admiration.
“I get paid for my first painting before I even learnt how to mix the paint, I had belief and confidence that I could do what my customer was requesting”, said Phiri.
Phiri’s first canvas to a creche here in Harare which earned him more jobs was his first contact with paint, canvas and brushes.
I guess the scribe’s description is closer enough to describe the artistical talent exhibited on the musical launch.
The atmosphere was so intimate as various art on display could appeal both to the eyes and the heart.
As revellers were being immortalised in visual art on display, Zowa was doing sound check inside the building.
Katiki-tiki (very small) stage, as Ela the garden’s stage is fondly known, was the final bus stop that led to the tears.
Forgive me for taking too long to come to the tears issue but in a while, the writer will be there.
A ‘conversation’, the launch was literally a converstions between fans, art and artists.
Television personality, Cynthia Mapando popularly known as Blackbird Zimbabwe was the captain of the artistic ship as she with zeal, quality and elegance captained the ship with traces of experience.
Vimbai Shoko a spoken word artist serenaded audiences with a captivating poem were she was praiseworthy of her soko totem and the author is so sure that audiences also wanted to be associated with the soko totem thereafter.
How Blackbird Zimbabwe juggled the ball in infusing poetry and music was so professional as Great Chuma added on to the ‘conversation’ with a lyrical maestro “Mhiri Kwerukova” song.
Monica Katsiga besides traditional earrings and bracelet craft, exhibited her spoken word prowess as she performed alongside a singing Zowa.
The duet was tantalising and the emotional attachment among revellers was so electrical as the duo mesmerised fans with poem and song simultaneously.
Adding on the fray, Rudzi the First band peformed in support of Zowa.
The Country-Folk-Rock singer and song writer, Zowa, performed a trilogy exceptionally well.
Kumutsonzowa, Saru which he featured Mupa Musimba and Runyanhiriri – Venus the Rising.
The writer will not dwell on the lyrical prowess but leave the reader to have a feel on the music which is available online – Zowa The Man of The Mountain.
The emotional event attended by Zowa’s mother, sister, niece, musical fans and artistical friends was so intimate.
The kitiki tiki stage failed to hold the centre and things fall apart.
Performing the last song, Runyanhiriri, The Man of the Mountain as Zowa calls himself, the intimacy get so strong and overcame him.
The audience could also spiritually share the ‘conversation’ with the artist as emotional tears floaded the Katiki tiki stage from The Man of the Mountain as the EP launch ended.