…As Majuice’s star continues to shine under Macheso
ALICK Macheso may be the man with the ‘midas touch’ that turned Orchestra Mberikwazvo to become a household name, and arguably be crowned as the best sungura outfit in the country present-day. However, in the entertainment industry, especially with sungura music, it is not a one man show, but more of a team effort that makes a band exceptional.
Orchestra Mberikwazo continues to rule the roost through its large following at live shows, defying the notion that sungura music has lost ground on the local music scene. Besides his lyrical and musical genius, Ba Shero, as he is affectionately known, has his dancers’ incredible stunts and choreographies to thank, which make his act and music more energized and fascinating.
His Orchestra Mberikwazvo ensemble is full of such remarkable talent from both the band instrumentalists to the dance crew. One such exceptional and gifted member that deserves mention who has over the years risen to make a name for himself and is currently the lead dancer in Macheso’s camp, is none other than Selemani Mpochi, better known as Majuice.
With the Macheso and Freeman ‘Ngaibake’ Watsomba show set for tomorrow (Friday) night EasternTimesZim got in touch with Majuice today (Thursday), who was recently with Macheso on their four cities tour in Australia, just to hear what the dance crew has set up for the top billing Watsomba show, which will be a first for the Mberikwazvo entourage that in the past often only performed in Rusape, Mutare, Chipinge and Checheche on their Manicaland tour.
The Orchestra Mberikwazvo lead dancer said they have a special surprise in tow for the Watsomba show. The ladies heartthrob and versatile dancer said they will be coming in full-force to light up Watsomba and give their Manicaland fans an early Christmas present.
“Usually we come up with most of the dance moves as the dance crew, but we also get some help from the man himself (Macheso) and other group members. Jonasi Kasamba is also a good choreographer and often helps. We have some new moves that we will showcase for the first time in Watsomba since we have a new addition to the dance crew called Albert, whom we also went with to Australia recently. So our fans should come bracing for fireworks and an energized show. It will be a mixed bag of our old and new choreographies igango mufaro chete paWatsomba alongside Charlie, Kariba and Jonas Kasamba and Winston who join us here and there on the dances,” said Majuice.
The nimble-footed dancer who horned his talent through artistes like Peter Tangwena and Leonard Zhakata, to mention a few, before joining Macheso, said he has gone through the highs and lows most artistes undergo, which at one point forced him to quit the entertainment industry and become a kombi driver.
He fortunately found his footing again and returned to his dancing passion and fate led him to Macheso. Majuice however admitted that he only became known after joining Macheso’s Orchestra Mberikwazvo outfit in 2009 and since then the sky has been the limit for him. He was actually christened the name Majuice by Macheso straight after joining his camp.
Just like the late internationally renowned pop star Michael Jackson back in the days of the the Jackson 5, raw talent can never go unnoticed and that is the case of Majuice, who rose to fame instantly after joining Macheso on his tryout show at Ochi City in Harare in 2009. After he got the job, he however had to work very hard to prove his mettle and hog the limelight away from ex-group member Franco “Slomo” Dhaka who was the biggest name back then in the Mberikwazvo camp.
Both dancers were remarkably and visibly talented, and were pure magic to watch on stage, which increased Macheso’s live shows following as a top performer. Slomo however ditched the Macheso camp in 2013 and briefly joined Dendera prodigy Sulumani Chimbetu, but that same year later formed his own band, Extra Kwazvose, with other Orchestra Mberikwazvo members, guitarist Noel Nyazanda, drummer Obert Gomba and chanter Kasamba, who have since returned to Macheso after falling on hard times.
“I will always remember my first show dancing for Macheso, as it was a big breakthrough for me. When Peter Tangwena decided to stop music, we continued as Starlight Musica and we engaged Macheso to be his supporting act. This was not a successful venture. I however remained persistent and on one of his shows at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton in 2009, I went on stage while he was performing and he was fascinated. His management engaged me and I was given a trial run at Ochi City the following week. Funnily I got the job through public demand after Macheso asked the crowd ‘toita sei naye uyu’,” said Majuice as he laughed, after going down memory lane.
On the other hand, the life of the 32-year old young dancer has since changed ever since he joined Macheso. He is now well travelled having performed regionally in Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia while internationally he has been to the United Kingdom occasionally and Australia recently.
With his provocative and hard to miss hairstyles, typical of celebrities and famous footballers, Majuice is living the life he dreamt of and says he aims higher.
“I really appreciate the experience Mdara (Macheso) is giving me. I am also now doing backing vocals for him and learning how to play some instruments, but drums are best for me. Macheso always encourages us to be versatile and to advance ourselves from being mere dancers…As for my hairstyles, I always want to look the part. This is the show business and we have fans that look up to us, so being smart and presentable is good,” he said.
On the otherhand the HKD boss, Freeman whose real name is Energy Sylvester Chizanga who is riding on the crest of a wave from the ‘Ngaibake’ collaboration song, was already expected to arrive in Mutare for the show today.
Watsomba’s Mandel Nightclub, situated about 40km outside Mutare, last hosted a sold-out gig pitting Jah Prayzah and Jah Signal in September.
Mandel Nightclub proprietor Lovemore Mandimutsira said all is in place for the show. He said all the rooms at his lodge at the centre were now fully booked, which was a good sign that come D-day tomorrow, a sold out show is possible.The VIP cover charge will be $200 (RTGS) whilst the regular gate charge will be $80 (RTGS).
“There will be free WiFi for all the patrons and we have increased security measures at the VIP section. This will be a show to light up people’s Festive season mood and we have gone all out to ensure we are well stocked with all beverages and for everything to be perfect on the night,” said Mandimutsira.
Wheel spinners, Diamond FM DJ Lampy, fondly known as Zkit and Libz Kartel will entertain revellers on the turntables before the main gig.