Tuku, Sulu Douse Pamuzinda Fire

IN what could be a first in the local showbiz industry, the crème de la crème of Zimbabwean music has pledged to fight for distressed promoter Josh Hozheri to stay afloat.

Hozheri, who runs Pamuzinda Ice & Fire got a baptism of fire, literally, when part of his joint was burnt down in a fire incident a fortnight ago.

He lost thousands worth of stock during the raging inferno. However, top artistes Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah and Suluman “Sulu” Chimbetu have all agreed to “douse the fire” that almost saw Hozheri joining the growing list of “former music promoters”.
Tuku, Sulu Douse Pamuzinda Fire
Mtukudzi and Suluman join forces this Friday in what could be the first step to Hozheri’s recovery.

Commenting on the high profile gig and its significance, Sam Mataure, Mtukudzi’s manager, said Pamuzinda had proved to be one of the most important venues on the live show circuit since Hozheri took it over a few years ago and there was no way they could let it die.

“We are not just chipping in at the right time to see Josh through this trying period, but we are doing it for the venue as well, we need it to stay open and vibrant. This venue takes care of many families and I believe we should do everything in our power,” said Mataure.

Mataure, who also doubles as a drummer for Tuku’s band – the Black Spirits – said the gig would be the band’s first public show in 2016, making it a very important outing for the superstar.

“Promoters and artistes all work together behind the scenes. We have lent him a helping hand since the day we learnt that part of the venue had been destroyed by fire and this show will be just a continuation. The stage is intact, so the show goes on,” said Mataure.
Another top artiste, Sulu, who will be part of this Friday’s show, said Hozheri’s misfortune is his misfortune as well. Speaking through his spokesperson Joe Nyamungoma, popularly known as Joe Local, the Orchestra Dendera Kings leader said Hozheri had not asked for help as they knew what needed to be done as soon as they heard the sad news.

“Mudhara Josh ndewedu, ndiye akatipinza muguta guru saka tomira naye (Big Josh is our friend, he is the one who got us to perform in the capital, so we will stand by him). If it were not for his now defunct Jazz 105 where we grew our brand and got to play for a different upmarket crowd, we would probably have taken longer to break through. We urge all music lovers to come and support this gig, not just for the stellar line-up of ourselves, Tuku and Soul Jah Love, but for the industry, for the venue and for the love of music,” said Sulu.

He added: “Like our song ‘Moto’ says, where we call upon our friends to come and douse the fire, we have been called upon to ensure that the fire threatening Big Josh’s livelihood is extinguished.”
The promoter himself, Hozheri, praised the artistes for not abandoning him in his time of need.
“While this show will see Tuku and Sulu taking part, supported by Zim dancehall star Soul Jah Love, other top artistes have also pledged to support. I have Jah Prayzah coming here to perform on February 12 and Alick Macheso doing likewise on February 26.

“Their acts of kindness and love have given me a reason to believe in our industry, to believe that we have a role as promoters and that we are appreciated by the people we work with, and the people that we organise these shows for,” said Hozheri.

Hozheri, who used to run Jazz 105, a venue that was popular with music lovers, imbibers as well as artistes, said renovations at Pamuzinda were ongoing.

“We are still rebuilding and these gigs will help in a big way as part of the revenue will go towards the renovations. I want to thank mudhara Tuku and the rest of these top artistes that have literally stampeded to ensure we keep this venue open,” said Hozheri, who is also known as Big Josh.

Sungura king Alick Macheso, who closed 2015 in style with a well-attended gig at the venue, said he had been relieved when he learnt that Hozheri was putting up a fight to keep the venue alive. His public relations manager, Tich Makahamadze, who spoke on the maestro’s behalf, said Pamuzinda is important as it takes care of a very big constituency.

Tuku, Sulu Douse Pamuzinda Fire
“Every area, be it a suburb, town or growth point has a venue that big artistes such as Macheso, Sulu, Tuku and the likes enjoy performing at as they attract big crowds and at times the venues are strategically located. Pamuzinda is one of those venues and when things are not going well, as artistes we get worried.

“It is incredibly nice to know that Josh is putting up a fight. That means we only have to chip in, which makes it a whole lot easier. Tikabata pamwe sema artistes nema promoter tinokunda (We will accomplish a lot more when artistes and promoters work together).”

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