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Senzo out to dispel ‘death’ rumours

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Veteran South African reggae musician Senzo Mthethwa is in the country on a nationwide tour and, on a cold Saturday night, he starred for the first time at Club 24/7 in Blantyre in a gig that attracted an impressive audience.

This was Senzo’s second performance since his arrival on Thursday, the first being on Friday at Davido Lounge in Mangochi.

The last time the dreadlocked musician came to Malawi was in 1999, having debuted in 1998.

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Before his performance that rekindled memories of his past when he, alongside Lucky Dube and Jambo used to dominate airwaves with their reggae vibes in the country in the 1990s, Senzo greeted the audience in Chichewa and thereafter told the audience that he had come to dismiss rumours that he was “dead”.

“A lot of people still continue to say that I am ‘dead’ but today the truth has been set that I am alive,” the dreadlocked musician said.

The musician also told the audience that he has been ill.

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“Everything started during my second visit; I didn’t get ill here but when I got back home. The doctors indicated that it was malaria but things turned out sour vocally for me,” he said.

Senzo jumped on stage after the audience had been treated to a performance by legendary musician Giddes Chalamanda who only offered two songs, including a mash-up medley in which he collaborated with Patience Namadingo.

Namadingo was not there and so Alleluya Band’s Mada Taferakaso had to play backing vocals.

The Chiradzulu-based legend, who is in his 90s, was the centre of attraction such that some people gave him money as he performed.

Senzo’s set saw him offer over 10 songs and on his list included ‘Ngoxolele’, ‘Dark Days’, ‘Me and My Guitar’, ‘Rasta Wake Up’, ‘Thank You My Lord’ and the hit ‘Irene’ which he failed to perform on first attempt but got it right the second time.

“There was a misunderstanding with the band for ‘Irene’ but we managed it second attempt,” he said.

He also dropped Lucky Dube’s ‘Reggae is Strong’ and Thuthukani Cele’s ‘Usizi’.

The show spilled over to the early hours of Sunday with Makondetsa offering his set which included songs such as ‘Mbumba Ya Abraham’ before Black Missionaries led by Anjiru Fumulani brought their Kuimba series.

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