Birthday, milestone worth celebrating

For many artistes, birthdays have presented an opportunity for them to celebrate life, reflect on their past experiences while looking forward to the future. They have wanted to involve their fans in celebrating such milestones.

ON June 7 sungura maestro Alick Macheso will release his 13th album, which will coincide with his 56th birthday on June 10.

Macheso’s last two albums Dzinosvitsa Kure, released on June 6, 2018 and Tinosvitswa Nashe, a five-track album dropped on June 10, 2022, were  also meant to celebrate the musician’s life.

Apart from celebrating Macheso’s birthday, the release of Dzinosvitsa Kure, a six-track album that was recorded at the musician’s studio – Alema Studios in Chitungwiza — also coincided with Orchestra Mberikwazvo, Macheso’s backing outfit’s 20th anniversary.

Just like most human beings, Macheso often finds joy in celebrating milestones and accomplishments with his fans, the musician’s publicist, Tich Makahamadze told Standard Style.

“His birthday holds a special place in his heart and he wants to celebrate such a milestone with his legion of fans, hence the release of albums in June,” Makahamadze said.

“This year, as per God’s will, Macheso will release an album three days before his 56th birthday and likewise many people would join him in celebrating this important day in his life.”

Macheso’s album launch events have been done before a full house.

For many artistes, birthdays have presented an opportunity for them to celebrate life, reflect on their past experiences while looking forward to the future. They have wanted to involve their fans in celebrating such milestones.

However, for others, birthdays seem like just another day on the calendar.

“As a musician, I annually mark my birthday on May 27 surrounded by both my cherished fans and beloved family,” said Dendera musician Sulumani Chimbetu.

“This tradition holds immense significance for me as it serves as a heartfelt gesture of appreciation towards my dedicated fan base, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in my journey.

“Sharing this special day with them is my way of giving back and expressing gratitude for their continuous encouragement and loyalty.”

Zimdancehall producer DJ Fantan’s wife and mother were gifted with cars by controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo last Sunday to mark the 37th birthday celebration of the artiste. Last month, Chivayo had given DJ Fantan a lavish Mercedes Benz GLE350d 4matic.

DJ Fantan could not be reached to ascertain how he was going to celebrate his birthday, but posting on his social media platforms, the bulk artiste said he would through a music bash for his fans at Mashwede Village.

“The Biggest Birthday bash 2024 is on this Thursday at Mashwede Village on the China Chemadzimai slot on Thursday,” DJ Fantan wrote.

“We will be celebrating DJ Fantan Dweet and all the stars are coming out on this night.

“It’s going to be a star studded gathering and a must attend with your favourite artistes plus many more surprises and this Thursday the gates open at 5pm.”

Several artistes including Levels, Ribhe, Seh Calaz, Killer T, Enzo Ishal, Ndunge Yut, Pumacol, Dadza, and Andy Muridzo, among others took part before a full house at Mashwede Village last Thursday.

Jazz musician Diana “MaNgwenya” Samkange said she usually want to celebrate her important day with her fans.

“I usually celebrate my birthday mostly with close family and friends,” she said.

“However, I also make it a point that I do a birthday celebration concert every year.”

For other musicians, celebrating birthdays have a significant impact on their mental and emotional well-being, so they choose to do it “behind doors”.

“It’s a day to reflect, I spend it with my children as they always have something planned for Mama,” said Afro-fusion musician Feli Nandi.

Her sentiments were also echoed by another Afro-fusion crooner Ammi Jamanda.

“I see my birthday as a time to reflect on what I have achieved in life and also a time to rectify my past mistakes,” she said.

“Mostly on this day I stay in indoors with the people whom I love and those who are close to me.

“I can take up to four or five days celebrating my birthday.”

Urban grooves singer and songwriter Plaxedes Wenyika said November 22, a birthday she shares with the late Zimdancehall sensation Soul Jah Love and Chivayo was a very special day in her life.

“I love to celebrate my birthday with friends and family doing lunch and dinner,” she said.

“I last had a mini party on my 40th birthday. It’s always been wonderful surrounded by friends and family.

“I always have people singing happy birthday and presents.

“My mum used to throw parties for me during my 18th and 21st birthdays.”

Socialite and musician Alice Tagwira said: “I'm tired of dinners and inviting friends for those glamorous parties. At this point I wish to celebrate it with my daughter.”

“Being the two of us celebrating the sweet/sour journey of life together!”

Award-winning Afro-pop musician Sandra Ndebele said she finds joy in giving, especially during her birthday.

For the better part of January, which is her birthday month, the musician-cum-politician has been seen engaging vulnerable groups of people.

“I usually spend this important day of my life with orphans, that’s what I always do year in and year out,” Sandra Ndebele said.

However, gospel musician Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave thinks otherwise.

“I never celebrate my birthday at all,” she said.

“It’s just a day like any other and every day is Christmas day.

“We celebrate life every day.”

Notable birthday bashes by artistes included one hosted by the late multi-award winning musician Oliver Mtukudzi for his 65th birthday celebrations at Pakare Paye, Norton where he was joined by artistes such as Jah Prayzah, Andy Muridzo and Zambian pop outfit Amayenge.

Several shows have been held by arts promoters on behalf of musicians to help them express gratitude, acknowledge growth and celebrate life.

As such, local entertainment hub Jive Zimbabwe through the #OneBigParty — a popular family event that is held on the last Saturday of every month, bringing artistes, businesspeople and entrepreneurs together — has been helping artistes celebrate their birthday.

“We have hosted birthday celebrations events with performing artistes born in that month,” said Jive Zimbabwe director Benjy Nyandoro.

“Jah Prayzah performed in 2018 at Padziva in July, he was born on July 4 and Sulumani performed in May, he was born on May 27.”

The digital age has significantly transformed the way people celebrate birthdays. Birthday wishes pour in on Facebook, X, Instagram and LinkedIn, among other social media platforms.

Some conversations are actually sustained from a social greeting to business opportunities and relationships, among others.

Financial institutions like banks are also engaging clients and celebrating birthdays with congratulatory messages using online platforms.

Brand specialist Takemore Mazuruse believes celebrating birthday are artistes’ moments to reflect on their brands' journeys.

“This is the time the artiste takes lessons from the past and plot future ambitions,” Mazuruse said.

“Most artistes would use birthdays as opportunities for brand-building as well as looking forward to the brand’s future.”

He said music concerts where artistes celebrate their birthdays were one way of creating brand visibility.

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