Bulawayo Diaries: Vusa Mkhaya at Indaba Book Cafe in Bulawayo

By Kudakwashe Takundwa (Urban Culxure)

On Saturday 15 February 2020 we found ourselves at Indaba Book Cafe in Bulawayo as we took a break from everything Valentines Day related and spent some time at this little gem away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Performing on that day were Mimmie Tarukwana and the amazing melodies from Austrian based legend Vusa Mkhaya. 

Vusa Mkhaya

The up close and personal concert was opened by Mimmie Tarukwana, who belted out the legendary Letta Mbulu’s Music in the Air and went on to deliver her popular hit song Khetha which set the tone for an amazing afternoon. 

The last time most of us were here for a show was at least three years ago, when Vusa was promoting his 10 track album “UManyanyatha”, he charmed many of us with his musical brilliance. It was on this day that history was made as music lovers from Bulawayo were introduced to another rare musical voice. The show ended with awesome reviews about his outstanding stage act, with calls for more shows whenever he was home. This intimate venue carries a lot of musical memories for Vusa. He remembers how some watched his last show through windows as the venue was packed and for the rest it was standing room only. When Indaba Book Cafe hosts shows they always do it right. 

Manyanyatha

The world-acclaimed performer took to the stage in a black T-shirt and cap inscribed with the words “Ndebele Crush”, a fashion brand by Bulawayo based artist Lady Tshawe which seeks to encourage people to embrace Ndebele culture. Accompanied by his three-piece band, Vusa performed some of his most loved songs, including Diaspora, Umanyanyatha and his latest offering Abalalanga a deeply emotional song. He even delivered a heart-warming version of Jabu Khanyile’s Mmalo we and also jammed to “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” to honour the legacy of the founding father of Imbube music Joseph Tshabalala of the multi Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 

Mkhaya’s voice and musicianship soared through the unique venue and left the audience stunned with one attendee commenting “It’s like watching him in his living room. This is the best show I have ever seen in recent times”. As the intimate show came to a close the crowd rose to their feet cheering as Mkhaya exited still singing with his very last step off the stage. The ambience at Indaba Book Café was a perfect fit for Mkhaya’s music.

Copyright : Ndeipi Magazine Issue 117

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