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Jeys Marabini is back!

by Staff reporter
28 Nov 2022 at 04:56hrs | Views
Afro-Jazz musician Jeys Marabini announced his return on stage through an awe-inspiring performance on Saturday night during the launch of his 10th album titled Xola. He performed in front of a packed Bulawayo Theatre.

The over 350-seater venue was packed to the brim and some fans had to sit on the aisles to get a view of Jeys in his element, churning out music after a four-year hiatus due to illness.

It was an illness that even moved President Mnangagwa to invite the musician to the State House in Harare as the First Citizen was concerned about his health.

So Saturday was a decisive night, when Jeys was grabbing his second chance at life by doing what he knows best, music.

The 10-track album has songs such as UThixo Wezimanga featuring Amaqaqa, Skin Colour featuring Tariro NeGitare, Khawuleza, Thula Sizwe, Ijazi, Ntombi Nto, Bambo lwami, Ndoni Yamanzi and the title track Xola.

Jeys is still a force, as by 7.30pm the auditorium was already packed with fans eagerly waiting for him to get on stage.

Before the legend took to the stage, the crowd was entertained by musicians such as Unqaba Lo, Vickey and Brian Awa, who sang one song each.

In attendance was the Chief Director in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Benson Dube, who was representing the guest of honour, Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire and Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube.

Deputy Minister Machakaire said Zimbabwe was blessed to have a musician of Jeys' creed.

"As Zimbabweans, we are blessed to have a musician of his calibre.

He is an inspiration to many people, both the young and old and among them are artistes and business persons. On that strand, I wish to urge our youth and all emerging artistes to emulate Jeys who has stayed clear of alcohol and substance abuse," said Deputy Minister Machakaire.

He said Jeys has been a perfect role model who should be emulated.

"Instead, he is taking his music seriously as a business. He runs a music recording studio and is therefore creating employment for many musicians including the youth. For all this and more, I congratulate him for being the role model we want to see, in that he does not abuse children and the girl child," said Deputy Minister Machakaire.

Jeys through the show manager, Future Dube handed over a copy of the album to Benson Dube to give it to Deputy Minister Machakaire. He then handed over another CD which was to be handed over to President Mnangagwa.

The directors of ceremony on the night, poets Sithandazile Dube and Obert Dube then held an auction for the album and the first copy was sold for US$450.

Radio personality Ezra "Tshisa" Sibanda then interviewed Jeys live on stage on the launch and album. Thereafter, it was time to get down to the business at hand.

The muso took people back in time to the beginning of his career as he sang Wezimanga featuring Amaqaqa, an imbube group from Bulawayo. It was like a praise offering by Jeys who was thanking the Almighty for giving him a second chance at life so that he could continue blessing fans and Zimbabweans with music.

The crowd was eating out of the palm of Jeys' hand as fans followed closely, even singing along when they got hold of the tune and lyrics.

The album is vintage Jeys, with a touch of Afro-Jazz, Marabi and Imbube with trademark melodies and tunes.

For the first song, he got a standing ovation and it was an indication of a night that one will remember.

The album launch was not all about Jeys as that is not in his character. Instead, it was about the audience having a good time. Crowd interaction is key during a Jeys' show and he would from time to time, ask the crowd, which responded positively, to clap and dance to the music.

He would also invite fans to join him to dance to tunes such as Thula Sizwe and showcase the ingquzu dance. This is what Jeys has always advocated for, the preservation of culture through dance and music.

During the show, he also showed another side of himself by dedicating the song Baba lo Mama to his late parents. It was an emotional song for Jeys as he sang it as if he was alone on stage and was a prayer to thank his parents for raising him to be the person he is.

Another aspect of Jeys comes out in the song Skin Colour featuring Tariro NeGitare, which speaks about unity among cultures.

And this was brought out during the performance as Jeys taught Tariro NeGitare how to dance isitshikitsha. In turn, Tariro NeGitare taught Jeys the Mbende dance. The duo's interaction on stage was a beautiful showcase of how diverse the nation is and how unity between tribes brings joy like what was witnessed on stage.

After the performance, Jeys said he was grateful to be back and was at a loss for words as to the support he received from fans.

Source - The Chronicle
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