Busi Ncube brings back Ilanga

Busi Ncube performing at The Place on Sunday (Picture by Sharon Sibindi)

BUSI Ncube must be a staunch Highlanders FC fan! This was evidenced by the black and white pants she wore at the Ilanga Tribute Concert held at The Place in Bulawayo on Sunday.

At 60, one probably will be close to reaching twilight, but like fine wine, Ncube’s maturity shined on stage. Not only does she still have the voice, but she also has the moves.

Ncube will turn 60 on Thursday, and what better way to embrace six decades of life than with a concert of your fallen heroes?

She was back where it all started for her over three decades ago, and under immense pressure to deliver, she did not disappoint, showing her mettle as a tip-top performer. She still has energy for days, performing for more than an hour.

Busi Ncube performing at The Place on Sunday (Picture by Sharon Sibindi)

At its peak, the now-defunct jazz band, Ilanga was fronted by Ncube, the late Cde Chinx and the late Don Gumbo.

Behind these leaders were talented individuals including the late Gibson Batishta, and Adam Chisvo, Andy Brown, and Europe-based Keith Farquharson.

Gumbo must have been grinning from ear to ear from his grave when one of Ncube’s vocalists David Mabhena delivered justice to his song, “Joy, Love and Happiness,” much to the delight of the audience.

The concert was not devoid of local artistic flair, with artists Jeys Marabini, Ramsey K, Ben Chest, and Mimmie Tarukwana all in attendance at the show that teleported patrons back in time when Ilanga held a stranglehold on the music landscape.

She might now be based in Oslo, Norway, but KoNtuthu Ziyathunqa will always be her home and to show that, Ncube sang a song titled, “Bulawayo”. For a time, drummer Erastus Nleya stepped into the late Cde Chinx’s enormous irreplaceable boots, belting out his yesteryear hit, “Zvikomborero”.

Ncube and her friends sang songs such as Shosholoza, Silver and Good, Sithembeni, Ngihlangabeze, and Siyalonda.

When people are having a good time, they rise up, dance, and raise their hands in the air. This is what happened when the deadlocked assassin sang Ilanga’s hit “True Love”. This was her swan song to an establishment filled to its roof.

Speaking on the sidelines of the concert, one of the patrons identified as Khulu Moyo who attended the show with his wife of 30 years, MaDlamini said they had missed Ncube.

“It was an amazing show. We really enjoyed the pure niceness of the music with my wife. It brought back memories of when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend.

Busi Ncube and her friends sang songs such as Shosholoza, Silver and Good, Sithembeni, Ngihlangabeze, and Siyalonda.

Despite that the show started very late considering that tomorrow (Monday), we’re supposed to be at work, we really enjoyed it.

“We need such music, especially us elders, we are starved of it,” conceded Moyo.

A visibly elated Charmaine Donga said seeing Ncube perform was overwhelming.

“My mother used to play ‘True Love’ when we were still young so we grew up loving the Ilanga sound. Seeing her in person was overwhelming. It was a dream come true and I felt like she was paying homage to my late mother who was a big fan of hers,” she said.


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