Winky D Roars As D’Banj Delivers A Big Yawn

The organisers, Delta Beverages had billed the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival held at Glamis Stadium on Saturday night as the Battle of Africa.

It was Bebe Cool of Uganda up against Nigeria’s D’Banj as well as Zimbabwe’s Winky D with Guspy Warrior and King Shaddy individually providing support with their own sets.

We walked in just after 18:00hrs to a sparse crowd. It was orderly with a lot of visible security. The stage, lighting and sound were all beautiful. And the drinks, cheap. For the imbibers it was that pump price they always look for.

It all started off very well at 18:30hrs with a crowd of no more than 30. But this was organised with HIFA meaning that the show goes on as advertised no matter what the conditions are.

King Shaddy and his Macorokoza band delivered an entertaining set featuring his known tracks and a few new ones. Watch out for one song with a play on Harare roads. It’s clever. We liked his set.

Then after a DJ break which was handled by Rax and Raydizz it was Guspy Warrior’s turn and while he showed a lot of vigour his set was a bit confusing. After doing 30 minutes he bade us farewell and then the hosts, Star FM Presenters KVG and Knox, suddenly called him back onto the stage. He did another 15 minutes and walked off. He was done right? Wrong! He was called again for another set. He did two songs and finally he was done for real.

Another DJ break and it was Bebe Cool’s turn to have a go to a crowd whose numbers had now increased significantly. His intro lasted a whole 6 minutes and sounded a bit like a soundcheck. When he got going he kept giving sermons between songs and sometimes during songs which meant his set didn’t really flow. It was uninteresting for long periods but finished off strongly after his manager came and hyped up the crowd for the last three songs.

Then it was the Ninja President’s turn with home turf advantage. The crowd went wild as he went through a compact, neat 45 minute, high-energy set. He has certainly matured since he started working with a band. He has evolved into a a brilliant artist and his mastery of what the band does is a joy to watch. He had the crowd going insane. Maybe it was home turf advantage but it was awesome all the same.

The headline act then came onto the stage. We knew 2 songs from D’Banj so, it was a bit of a stretch. He started off with Fall in Love, which was well-received and then went downhill from then on. We simply have no idea what he was doing. For extended periods he was talking our heads off and seemed more interested in finding a girl than actually entertaining the crowd. At some point he had 13 women on stage. Four were his dancers while the rest were from the crowd – one of whom was singer Ammara Brown. She danced with him, sang a bit and he was blown away; he didn’t know she was an artist by the way. However his act was pedestrian and the crowd slowly started departing. By the time he sang Oliver Twist, close to half of the roughly 3,500  or so crowd (slightly less than the 20,000 from last year’s edition)  was gone. It was a yawn.

On the whole the show will have pleased on the fact that it was very well-organised.

However, it would probably seem as if D”Banj was not the crowd-puller that his compatriots P Square were last year. We are informed that he was chosen after a poll.

It was also pricey. $20 is a lot of money.

There will be lessons learnt from tonight. Our verdict? King Shaddy and Winky D made sure that the show was entertaining. Guspy was able while our visitors were something else. It was a show but it was not a $20 show.

Best moment of the show: Winky D verse with Lipsy on stage

Worst moment of the show: D’Banj’s continuous search for ‘kokolets’

Winning bonus:  The vendors had coins as change.

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