South Africa’s award winning group Uhuru put up an electric performance on Friday to light up an almost drab Lake of Stars (LoS) Festival.
As one of the main international headliners, the four-member group seemed to have one thing to prove—how stage music ought to be executed.
Contrary to tradition where most bands use the whole set of drums—usually with six components—the group used four, comprising a snare, bongos, hi hats and cymbals.
This, according to the group, is to produce the sound as is heard in their CDs.
True. The one hour performance was electric. Not that the group, made up of Themba Sekowe (Maphorisa), Nqobile Mahlanu (Mapiano), Sihle Dlalisisa (DJ Clap) and Xelimpilo Simelane (Xeli, who was absent), was riding on the fame of Y-Tjukutja.
Neither was it just because of the dance genre the group sings.
It was all about stage management and having an artistic mind in keeping patrons glued to the dance-floor.
Fresh from their July MTV Africa Music Award triumph for Best Collaboration with Davido, the group was ready to offer Malawian artists tips on how to flourish on stage performance.
“Patience and courage are key virtues. Believe in what you do and it will happen,” said DJ Bucks, who collaborates with Uhuru.
The group, best known for producing Mafikizolo’s hit Khona, had a point because before and after them, the main stage had a good share of dull moments.
First were the 30-minute interludes between artists, which were a letdown for the patrons who seemed to be in high spirits for dance.
Second was the mixture of artists. Just when the patrons wanted more and more dance, the written programme could not just respect their desires as soulful singers would come in between.
The case in point is Lawi and the Mango Band. Although he put up a gallant soulful performance, he failed to sustain the dance mood that Dan Lu had activated, except for his hit Amaona Kuchedwa, which he performed last.
Third was South Africa’s award winning Toya Delazy whose performance attracted mixed feelings, with some singling out a few songs she performed using a piano as unnecessary.
But the Nigerian Ric Hassani did not disappoint on Saturday although he performed for half an hour.
As expected, his popular Dance Dance Baby Dance got a better part of his performance, with a group of patrons joining him in dancing on stage, much to the delight of the audience.
Other notable performers who did justice to live music at the three stages of the festival were Gwamba, Lucius Banda, Lulu and Mokoomba from Zimbabwe, among others.
This year’s event was more than a celebration of music. It was about tourism, arts and culture as over 80 acts from 10 different nationalities were in performance.