The Greedy Weekend #002: The Listening Party, Not A DJ (4th Edition), BISAMU

Welcome to the second edition of The Greedy Weekend! What is the Greedy Weekend you might ask? Well, it's a new column where we discuss and review some of the weekend events, that we would've attended. It really should've been a podcast but you know web hosting is way cheaper than microphones. So here we are with our round-up of the weekend of 24 to 26 November!

The Listening Party 

The Listening Party is a pop up music event organised by Incubator ZW! It is an hour long intimate concert with some of the rising stars in the music space and it concludes with a conversation between the artistes performing that particular day and the audience. It's a platform for experimentation with the chance of getting honest and sometimes very frank feedback. The event's current home is the pavilion at the Zimbabwe German Society in the Greater Harare CBD area.

This past Friday, for the penultimate edition of the year, The Listening Party hosted AneUnhu, Mwendamberi and Banshee. A trio of very talented, yet entirely different artists. However before I go into the performances, I have a bone to pick with this edition of the pop up event. It was about as on time as a local politician's rally. Not that I had anything's better to do but it pushed the limits (and this might just be me but it felt like it wasn't well advertised).

AneUnhu kicked things off on the night and unluckily his keyboard just wouldn't cooperate. Being the persevering showman, he initially managed this by playing us a selection of music that he had produced. Unknown to almost of us in attendance (as evidenced by vocalised expressions of shock and awe), AneUnhu has worked with quite the list of collaborators. Chengeto Brown, DJ Tamuka, Jah Signal and Tamy Moyo being among them.

Each song he played was preceded by an anecdote of how the collaboration had come to be, and within moments it was forgotten that this wasn't the performance he had meant to give. When he had gone through the readily available music, he started giving notes to the guitarist who had come on stage in support his initially scheduled performance. The led into a singing and rap performance that raised the question: Why doesn't AneUnhu release more music?

AneUnhu was followed by Mwendamberi, the Afro Jazz artiste formely known as Solutions GC. Armed with a guitar and a powerful voice, his performance was nothing short of sensational. I immediately questioned why he wasn't more popular? Surely I would've heard about someone this good? After all most of my spare time is spent writing about Zimbabwean music.

It was a night of three acts but Mwendamberi certainly had the headline performance. The strumming of guitar strings to an engrossing rhythm and the vocalised richly African melodies, filled with life a pavillon that had felt unusually empty due to a lacklustre attendance. Midway through his set, Mwendamberi even invited Noble Style to give us an impromptu freestyle, to which he obliged and if you didn't know it you'd think they had practiced it before.

Banshee came to the stage for the closing performance, a blend of spoken word and rap music. Again I was left wondering why hadn't she released more music? Banshee's set was a little insight into her process. We got to listen to some works in progress, some experimental pieces and then her crowning achievement as a rapper so far, her debut single "Defiance".

As a poet Banshee's performance tugged on my heartstrings. It didn't matter if there was a stutter to a particular piece, because it all felt extremely personal and her poetry was like a creative bearing her soul.

The performances were followed by a conversation between the artist's and audience. While they were diverse conversations engaged in, all I wanted to know (as I shouted from the front row) is why they weren't releasing more music? I loved the potential that was showcased and I certainly hope everyone who was on that stage puts in the work their talent deserves. 

Note: Open your streaming service and give Mwendamberi (Solutions GC) a listen. The other guys are great too but they both only have one song out (we need more music).


EventNot A DJ, 4th edition. ThemeSpaceshipsStrong suspicion for reason behind theme4 of the five DJs are part of a band named Bantu Spaceships, with Biko being the fifth set of deck hands. Venue: Ela the Garden, with a pretty light set up. Day event was heldFriday 24 November. Day I bumped into Twitter user (yes, Twitter, still) @eli1ah's tweet suggesting more people should casually DJ, as an extension of their love of musicWednesday 22 Novemeber. Conclusion from this coincidenceThe Universe agrees with the Not A DJ movement. 

Song heard upon arrival that apparently Ticket Guy Who Was Tying My "I've Paid" String did not know because he kept his slow pace despite my evident impatience: I am a God, by Kanye West. DJ playing itSerpantAmount of time I spent rocking to aforementioned Kanye song, with Serpant and MC King Billius before remembering we were in front of everyone and therefore I should slink into the crowdsApproximately one and a half minutes. Felt like ten. 

Number of romantic interests (crushes) I had met on Thursday night that I met again at Not a DJOneConclusionShe is the one. Number of texts I sent The OneThreeNumber of responses I receivedZeroConclusionsShe is the one but it will take some time. Percentage of members of Bantu Spaceships who's "The One" appears to be a musician prominent in the 90s50%. Number of songs on Ulenni's set16Number of songs on Ulenni's set I would put in a no skip playlist9, including Tiza by Enzo Ishall. 

Number of times I changed the format of this essay3. Amount of time I usually spend on an event recap3 days.Number of times my editor called me out on Twitter for missing deadlines and thus forcing me to rapidly type this in 3 hoursOnce, but it was highly effective. Promise I hurriedly made to him to try water down firesSubmission of a weekend report every Tuesday. Counterpoint he madeSubmission of a weekend report every Monday. 

Promise I kept repeating to two event buddies during the live performance segment of Not A DJI'm going to the front there to dance. Number of times I actually went to the front there to dance: Zero. Number of times I had met "Jeremy" (one of the gentlemen) before proceeding to beg Thando to let us be DJs in the next Not A DJ setZero.

Conclusion because every event recap must end with an all encompassing summation of the eventNot A DJ is a celebration of music by music lovers and something about that arouses an intensified love of music within one. Song from Ulenni's set that is still stuck in my head: Ntuthwane - Extended Version, by BCUC.



EventDUALISM, a runway show by BISAMU Collective. Day event held: Sunday, 26 November. Dress code of eventGrey and Black. Color of the sky on the dayGrey, and rainy. Colors this writer wore, starting with the cap and ending with the boots: grey, red, black, silver, blue, black. Dress code compliance66%, considering silver is a shiny form of grey. Fashion designer behind DUALISMRori Bisamu. Also known as a DJ (Yes A DJ). 

Musician who graced the event and played hauntingly jarring and thus fitting guitar notesSerpantNumber of times my chair neighbour remarked we were all gathered there to be massacredApproximately seven. Number of times I started to believe himOneVenueA mansion still in construction, and therefore exactly perfect for the event, giving it an utilatarian, brutalist edge. Number of event elements that felt exactly perfect complements to the fashion4, namely the venue, music, weather and artworks. 

Adjectives I used throughout the event to describe the artworks all around the mansionBrutal, sharp, edgy, rusty, provocative, dangerous, brutal again. Standouts from the fashion runwaySaint Danger's outfit, this one tall model who instead of simply walking around the giant artwork in front of the audience would look at the artwork, slowly, take it in then leave or look at Serpant's performing and nod his head approvingly, Pia, this model with three silver nails in the back of their hair, fanning out, this model who had gems glued to their head, J Sabelo's running around and MCing, the closing moment, when people burst into clapping and red haired Rori came out, Lennox's photographs of Kuda Rice. 

Stand out outfit not from the collectionAfrican Hippie, with a death theme that included skulls and a black gun attached to his hip. Second biggest regret: The One not coming throughConclusionsRori Bisamu is a multi faceted talent, with the impressive ability to express his vision through different media and this event was a smoothly put together collaboration between the different artists involved. At the end he mentioned how already he had ideas for the next show, as it was all part of a story he was telling.

If you missed the first edition of The Greedy Weekend you can find it here.

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