A new S.A Idols winner has been crowned, she is only 17 and becomes an instant millionaire.
Paxton Fielies, 17, the youngest ever contestant and finalist has been crowned Idols season 13 winner at a colorful show held at Carnival City on Sunday afternoon. She becomes an instant millionaire and a receiver of a number of goodies and a recording deal that could potentially be the catapult to a vibrant career, or not.
Receiving more than 13 million votes, between the two of them, she took away the prize and became an instant media sensation. The young lady from Capetown stole the hearts of the show fans with her beauty, innocence, humility and vocal ability
The finalists showed up ready to lay it all down but everyone could hear the super vocal ability Paxton has been adorned with despite Mthokozisi being announced as being a nose better in the race to bag the highest paying musical competition in the land.
Mthokozisi could have lost it all by shoddily conceding to R.Kelly’s hit song ‘the storm is over’ whilst Paxton ushered out great vocals on her choice of opening performance.
If performances on these songs where in anyway the final decider to the show, the Zulu boy could have lost it.
In the end, the show is decided purely on the number of willing voters the finalists would have amassed in the run up to this one afternoon and nothing to do with how they performed on the final show.
Voting for the show almost reached a 100 million as the nation decided on who they next idol will be.
The duo between the two finalists was probably the highlight of the show and Paxton was pushing a very high range and seemed more comfortable than I have ever seen.
I do admit I have cringed a couple of times in this season having to endure crooked notes and poor performances but this afternoon it was much better and more a great show from these remaining artists with Paxton continuing her great run and maturity which could be a good amount of traits to have moving forward.
The school drop out winner, Paxton will soon be driving in a new car to school attending grade 11 with a number plate written ‘banana’; be sure to congratulate her when you spot it (if the claims on the show are anything to go by).
Zimbabweans living in South Africa have expressed utter disgust over the ongoing political fiasco reported in the media, thwarting any hope they possessed on ever going back home. The perpetual vilification of political members opposed to the nonagenarian leader and his family is leading many to believe that only if a civil war broke down, it could rid the nation of the scum that has for years now, ran the country aground.
The South African government agreed to renew permits for the millions of its neighbours nationalities a few months ago and long queues have been the norm in the different stations where the applications are being processed.
When I visited one such station in Midrand, Zimbabweans could not hide the pain they feel over the recent dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa and other political figures in the past. It seemed the recent firing of such a huge political figure like Mnangagwa only showed the extent at which the country is in shambles.
Many who I spoke to where overjoyed the South African government had decided to renew their permits, giving them more time to work for their families and forget about the hardships back home.
South Africa harbours over two millions Zimbabweans according to figures released in 2008 by S.A Home Affairs. This number is however not a true reflection of what is on the ground as there are many who have migrated and are not in the system. It has been difficult for the S.A government to correctly determine how many Zimbabweans are actually resident in their country but the number is believed to be even larger as troubles embattle their neighbours.
Some who I spoke to expressed no remorse for Emmerson Mnangagwa who they believe had been a strong member in orchestrating many wrong doings before and now deserves to be treated just the same way he has done unto others. They blamed him for failing to play his cards right and anticipating where it would lead, seeing how close he was from the head of state, President Mugabe.
Zimbabweans living down south are not in any way ignorant of current happenings in their home country. It is incredible to hear them speak. The amount of information (true or false) that they possess is astonishing for a people that are far from home and constantly consumed by the pursuit of economic happiness.
I have gathered that the many Zimbabweans residing here are individuals who at times would have never met at home, coming from different backgrounds and families possessing different opinions and knowledge. Some of which should not be treated as hogwash. You could be speaking to ex-militia, informants, ex-cons, wanted criminals and even ex-government employees who have loads of information and networks back home.
The ongoing factionalism in the country however, has brought out the true feelings of disgust from almost all that I spoke to. None have any hope of ever going back home and do not care anymore,
“Whatever happens now, I simply don’t care. It’s hopeless to think that Mugabe will step down anytime soon. Even if he does, you are most guaranteed that his wife Grace will be part of the leadership whilst her accomplices (in the G40 faction) will control the strings of the economy on her behalf. Her children will most definitely continue being nuisance as they have been and nothing or no-one will stop them now” An angry Daniel (not his real name) said.
With General Constantino Chiwenga, appearing at a news conference with another 90 senior army officers yesterday and hitting out on the squabbling and removal of liberation war heroes, many believe interesting times are ahead for the country.
The general is believed to be the only person who could stop all the nonsense within the ruling government and could possibly steer the country into another era, if he so decided to plan to take matters into his own hands. Yesterday’s press conference gave hope to many who believe they could still be light at the end of the tunnel.
A comment under a Newsday article on General Chiwenga’s press conference reads,
“Well done Chiwenga, if you mean what you said. But if we all know how Mugabe and Zanu PF have operated, such a statement will cost you life, and Mugabe doesn’t forgive such a poor show of loyalty. It is therefore puzzling that for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe’s independence some one can issue such a grave warning to Mugabe and remain alive in Zimbabwe. If there are no machinations behind this statement, CDE Chiwenga is better off acting sooner rather than later. There is no question that most of Zimbabwe and indeed the rest of the world will be behind the Chiwenga implied action. We may be able to save what’s left of this country, and from dynasty”
Another also said on the same page,
“Person of Interest
Chiwenga a good chance for you to climb to the top. Forget about Ngwena think about yourself and Mary. Boot the Matibilis out of power, book Jonso into the same cage at Chikurubhi with Gumbura. Tell everyone the country needs 5 years stbilising period with you at top before free & fair elections. Abolish indigenisation laws reduce tax etc, thereby attracting investment. After 5 years everyone is employed and happy they will want you to stay. We will even forget kutizvambura kwawakaita 2008 along with all the other offside statements you make about Zanu PF yega being fit to rule Zim.”
Zimbabwe volatility assures no one of a brighter a future, including politicians themselves. Nothing is ever promised tomorrow today, as we have seen in the fall from grace of Emmerson. It might seem bad to wish for internal conflict to achieve a somewhat clean up of all rogue elements and prosperous country in the future but the current crop of politicking within the present government have left people with very littl choice.
Voting seems not to be an option as well, with many citing previous elections as rigged and unfair while citizens in the diaspora are still not eligible to vote.
It’s a matter of waiting to see how it all goes, until then, the many residing in South Africa and abroad are not in a rush to go back and participate in the turmoil the nation finds itself in.
A small pub in Randburg played host to probably the best dancehall artist in Zimbabwe at the moment, Killer T on Saturday the 4th of November.
Despite my best intentions not to get frustrated in any way over what seems to be a perennial culture for Zimbabwean music promotion, that of poor planning and live shows, I couldn’t help but just.
The show, supposed to start at six in the evening (a suspicious time from the onset) started at one in the morning the following day. The worst ever wait I have ever had to endure for an artist, especially after having spent my hard earned R100 to gain entry and travelled across two Gauteng regions.
The club, Alicats, was definitely the wrong place to host the dancehall artist having only a few square meters allocated to the show and the rest to a different DJ and a VIP enclosure. By the time he eventually got on stage, seven hours later, he struggled to move freely with a stampede ensuing at the only entrance and exit to the club.
I guess there is no denying that the more artists from Zimbabwe fail to put on a good show outside their boarders, they only tarnish the effort to further put our music and artistry on the map.
Killer Tee is getting good air play on regional stations and should have known better than to keep the crowds waiting for more than seven hours.
I caught wind of a rumour that ensued during the long wait that as we waited, that Killer Tee was playing at another venue in the same town. Efforts to get any sort of answers as to the long wait were nonexistent, staff from the club kept promising he was going to show up soon.
Many a times, fans outside Zimbabwe have been shortchanged by cash mongers who have no respect in honouring professionalism. Artists have been advertised and not showed up which has left a lot of fans wondering whether to attend some shows advertised within the city.
Unless a show is advertised by professionally run organisations such as Computicket, which has the ability to advertise, organize and set up the shows according to demand and even refund if anything fails, Zimbabweans living in South Africa simply leave it to chance when it comes to any other advertised show.
Yesterday was less disappointing compared to other flaws, given the fact that Killer T eventually showed up.
My only fear is ruining the next time they decide to invite him again, fans will most probably choose to arrive at midnight or later or never. Negatively playing on his brand and professional levels.
If there were any hidden plans to push bar sales for seven hours before he came on stage, it worked but not for the second time running. Chances are the next time he is at the same club, less fans will travel to see him unless his management explains to the many fans that were packed like sardines and had to wait for hours on end just to see him perform.
Zimbabweans are a people scattered all over the globe. It’s not news that we have had the worst never changing government since her birth. Amongst the best ways we have had to emancipate ourselves from our sad political and economic situation is to work extra hard; feeding off the scraps falling from the tables of the greedy and made to search for meaning and existence to where the grass looks “greener”.
Amongst the many that have taken the long rides in pursuit of happiness very few musicians have done so in with music in mind, but rather to etch any other form of existence, having had it tough in the music scene back home.
To leave the country in the hope of wowing the greener prospects with a taste of Zimbabwean music is a detrimental to one’s career (if not health) as it is a country not really known for its musical prowess.
With many artists and genres to choose from, the world isn’t very open to the sound of the Zimbabwean artist.
But as they say, the mind is the strongest tool we can ever wield and overcoming any negative thought whilst simply applying yourself to what you love best, can get you very far.
Zivanai Masango is a Zimbabwean born guitarist, songwriter and singer pushing the boundaries and sticking it to where it hurts, to that bent over mentality of ‘kusina amai hakuendwe’ and enforcing the ‘where there is a will there is a way’ attitude!
After relocating to the United States of America, Zivanai did not yield on his ambitions and love for playing the guitar. Back home he had played for various artists but since moving to the U.S he explored different sounds. He plays what he calls Afropop/Afrojazz fusion music, a concoction of his roots, jazz influences from Africa and hints of the Blues and R’n’B.
“We do Afropop/Afrojazz fusion music… firmly rooted in the traditions, sounds and rhythms of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa but also reflecting the various international influences I’ve picked up in my long journey as a professional musician… as well as a fan of music in general. International influences include jazz, blues, r’n’b etc” Zivanai said.
When he performs, he does mostly original material from his last 3 albums and some yet to be released material and has found acceptance and a following through his versatility in play and the constructive use of social media. He never misses an opportunity to share what and who he’s working on and his awkward meetings with the world’s biggest names in jazz music, Lee Ritenour and his love for the Ibanez guitar brand.
Being in America, he has had to be creative. It indeed is a big nation. However, wetting the appetites of traditional mbira/folk music (which has done more to put Zimbabwe on the map as a truly original sound from the land locked country than any other genre) can indeed take you a long way.
With notable pioneers of the traditional mbira such as Ambuya Stella Chiweshe, Dumisani Maraire, daughter Chiwoniso Maraire and Ephat Mujuru, having the paved the way amongst during their time, Masango simply picks up some of this music which is in the public domain to play to his musical advantage. He has been able to put a twist of his own and has seen him become a somewhat force to reckon with.
Becoming a social interpreter or protestor (in whichever way you decide to look at it), Zivanai Masango has managed to reflect the musical journey he has had and the different societies he has been blessed to being a part of.
His song “Varimugomo” which he wrote ‘after an American friend lamented on how they send congressmen to Capital Hill but once they get there, forget to represent the interests of the ones who voted them there’. cannot resonate enough what we face in his Zimbabwe.
“I didn’t mean to protest per se… but I had genuine questions for those on the hill (leaders)… to ask where that zeal to better the people which they had in the beginning went to… to ask how they have totally lost their collective conscience… to ask why they are not ashamed to pillage the country and turn it into rags… to ask why they don’t have mercy. I had genuine observations of how the ones at the bottom of the chain are always crying while they (politicians) are sitting pretty with their families. If that makes it protest music, then so be it.” He said.
His is a sound that can perform well as they has always been a great demand for folk and traditional sounding music in the world, regardless of how the wave of new music coming up has in a way shoved us from that route into a somewhat downward spiral. Zimbabwe has simply lost its music identity (if we had one) and because we yearn to appeal to trends are digressing and losing the grab we once had on the world.
Which makes him even reluctant to release some of his music sighting the industry as volatile and unsure.
“I have a collection of songs in the works… but I’m not sure whether to release them as an album or just trickle them out as singles. The nature of the music industry these days makes that a difficult question,”
He however might be convinced to do an album, probably in 2018 depending on how well his fans demand for it.
Zivanai is determined to keep learning and improving, as he has figured out, it is the only way to bring up a brand. I sensed a longing for being equally revered in his home country like the one he gets in the US.
Zimbabwean music fans tend to have a cult following to everything. A definition of greatness is usually how the crowds says it is and rarely how it sounds. When they catch the flame, they do so alarmingly, blinkered and never to be moved. It is the same reason why it is so easy to climb the musical ladder in the country, lose footing and come hitting the ground with a big thud! All within a short space of time. Very few artists have survived these spikes in popularity and lived to tell the tale. Many have simply been forced to give up on their dream.
This is what Zivanai is afraid of and indeed a daunting proposition.
It could also be the fact that he didn’t play much as his own as an artist back in Zimbabwe. His solo career blossomed in the states and cannot be drawn into comparing where he has made most impact in his musical career.
Despite his lack of a solo career in Zimbabwe, he admits how easy it is to play for non-Zimbabwean audiences in America. Sighting Zimbabwean audiences as being skeptical.
“There is a certain cynicism and skepticism from home fans, they don’t readily accept you. Whereas non-Zimbabwean audiences are quicker to embrace you and accept you.”
I guess it could be because a new sound like anything unfamiliar requires the taste to be acquired.
Be that as it may, his work is progressive and has worked with great Zimbabwean musicians touring the US, such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Mechanic Manyeruke and self- exiled Chimurenga musician, Thomas Mapfumo. He admits having learnt a lot from such big names in Zimbabwean music and will have to work harder to command as much respect as these artists get as travelling musicians.
Zivanai is a drop in the ocean of the Zimbabweans that are scattered all over the world who are doing well but barely noticed back at home. It could also be that Zimbabwe is too busy with a lot (of nothing) to see what they’ve got or like he neatly said,
“A prophet is accepted away from home more than at home,”
This could be his greatest offering so far, if regional music is concerned, as he ventures to establish himself as an equal to one of the region’s biggest names in showbiz, Davido who will perform alongside him at HICC today.
At a time when all things in Zimbabwe are blurred and politics in sharp focus, Jah Prayzah drops his new album Kutongwa Kwaro this evening amidst a goulash of expactations.
The album name, loosely translated means “Leadership” but in a somewhat discourteous manner to the character (himself or someone else) the regional star refers to in this latest offering.
Could this be his way of signalling the current chaos the country finds itself in, politically, as a cabinet re-shuffle has just ruffled feathers in this old cock that has led the country for the past 37 years?
Could Jah Prayzah, like his stage name, be prophetically singing of the times we find ourselves in, from Elohim with a message for us all to pay attention to our current leadership and demise while possibly learning of a way out through his message?
Could Zimbabwe’s 37-year nightmare – the sacked or lamented leadership, the disastrous political fighting and tortuous economy – finally be over and revealed in song and dance as his title assumes? Or could we be clinging onto nothing but clever wording and marketing by the rising regional musical star?
His album that has already broken self-set records by the artiste as the most marketed, comes at a time when every aspect of Zimbabwean life is in the pits and probably, just probably, could resuscitate a lethargic economy that is on the brink of self exploding.
It could be his greatest offering so far, if regional music is concerned, as he ventures to establish himself as an equal to one of the region’s biggest names in showbiz, Davido (Nigeria) who will perform alongside him at the Harare International Conference Centre later today.
Davido, who has recently been questioned on the mysterious murders of his colleagues in which he has been called into questioning by police in Nigeria, will be relieved to avoid the negative publicity he faces in his country at the moment with the trip down to the once ‘bread basket of Africa’.
Jah Prayzah will also yen for some good publicity through the same show as his track “Mdhara Vachauya” in particular, has been “linked” and “likened” to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s arrival to the helm of the sinking Titanic (Zimbabwe) and restore all that has been lost but who has just lost his post as Minister of Justice through the recent re-shuffling in the hands of the nonagenarian leader.
The Uzumba-bred star will shoot to aim at a far larger market than locally as it seems he has tasted regional success with collaborations with Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) and Mafikizolo (South Africa) which have been received fairly well but has been left vulnerable back at home with fans who feel JP has moved away from his original sound while the upcoming mimic, Andy Muridzo, has been left to capitalise and feel the void.
His fans will have to accept the crooners change in tune to accomodate a much wider and more lucrative Africa, a conundrum he faces as he tries to satisfy both old and new fans alike.
His seven albums, though loosely characterised, are not an easy walk in the park especially with a Zimbabwean crowd that is not loyal in any way. If there is anything that Jah Prayzah has given the large followers he commands, is the guaranteed joy of music, a feat that was solely manned by Oliver Mtukudzi who at 65 years, never fails to deliver.
If we are to judge a book by its cover, Kutongwa Kwaro, might just be a best seller but then again, we must never. For artists have been known to find one spark within a list of dull moments, the proof is certainly in the pudding.
As the cash strapped Zimbabweans dig deep and hustle hard to attend the show, it is but a matter of time before we deduce which side of the fence we lie. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate as the simultaneously coming Jacaranda mauve; sprawling from high above, but utterly worthless junk when it touches the ground.
Government is mute while a war on taxi hauling services such as Uber and Taxify rages on, will they survive the onslaught?
So far they are.
By any means necessary it seems.
Regardless of what is happening the other side of the world, that is losing one the biggest license the company will ever ever have (London license) and fighting to get it back, it seems the problems we face here in South Africa are the least of their worries; and we might have to hold on until they done fixing that part of the world.
Drivers I have used in the past weeks following the torching of two Uber cars in Sandton, Johannesburg have been living dangerously. Trying by all means to avoid places where they might just be identified and put to risk. For weeks I have had to put up with thew following:
Having to request the service far from the public places where conventional taxis have been using for years prior to Uber entering the market.
Having been driven home with a driver carrying a gun in his car (he sounded so happy having one but then again I am not a gun slinger and didn’t bother asking to look it, rather opting to have the ride end safely and without incident).
Instead of displaying their cellphones enabled with GPS on their dashboard, they have had to conceal them and ask me for directions to where I am going, which is somewhat annoying and risky, considering the service can be used whilst in a drunken stupor.
Having my ride cancelled because I happen to be waiting at an area the driver deemed dangerous for pick up.
Not being picked up because I am paying cash (apparently a few cash requests led to a few drivers being attacked in Johannesburg)
Despite Uber’s in-house problems, it is still remains a choice for many in South Africa while their domination in this relatively new playing field is strongly being contested by Taxify and Cabbie.
70% is drivers on Uber are also on Taxify, which means whatever problems the parent company is facing or its popularity in the area, drivers remain undeterred, their main focus solely lying on making a profit.
Uberpop, their brand which Uber uses in Europe for its lowest cost ride-hailing service which connects passengers with private drivers can easily be delayed in South Africa because of not wanting to put un-licensed taxi drivers in danger from the criminal activity and current demise they find themselves in.
While I think it could solve the problem where many have to ride for hours to get to work, the congestion in the roads and ultimately one’s carbon footprint, it is more to do with community acceptance than business sense.
My loyalty to Uber is because, now than ever, I can do more than just catch a ride, UberEats, delivers to your home with a flat fee of 35 rand within the Eastrand,
while Taxify is playing catch-up with the prospect of the former ushering in more services such as self driving cars.
It seems not so far ago, we were totally reliant on meter taxis and their exorbitant pricing but now spoiled for choice.
I am told of a new taxi hauling service called Cabbie, which I haven’t tried out yet because I couldn’t locate it in my app store as easily as the other two (it still has a low rating).
Quantity is certainly not the issue in this game but certainly quality of service. This determined by the pricing, efficacy and at times number of freebies being thrown at me at any particular time.
Comparing Uber and Taxify quotes over a small distance in an area, I have discovered some slight differences such as how:
Uber gives you three choices, Uber X, Black and Van, to chose from whilst their competitor only has one. For those that want to ride in style and prefer to be treated as royalty, Uber will win this one.
Taxify has a larger estimate, far more worrying if you have 30 rand in your pocket as it might end up costing 40 rand. If it doesn’t then you save more than Uber which estimates higher but within the same range as their competitor and rarely bills you lower.
To me it looks like the two companies are almost similar depending on their positioning in the market. Taxify is trying hard to get clients and will entice you with a very low estimate of 30 rand (as in this case) whilst the ceiling of their estimate is much higher than the actual estimate from Uber by just two rands. There isn’t much of a difference but I guess in today’s world it counts for something.
All pricing is off course dependent on factors such as traffic, but whatever you chose you are guaranteed to get there safely.
Whether be it on the basis of market experience, service or choices, etc.
Tell us which taxi hauling service you prefer and why, for we would like to know?