Bulawayo Shutdown: Stellar performances, vibrant atmosphere, unforgettable moments

First things first, let’s delve into the attendance! The performances from all the artistes were top-notch, but the turnout was simply out of this world. A significant attendance was expected, but no one foresaw it being that massive.Thousands thronged Queens Sports Club on Saturday evening to attend the Bulawayo Shutdown gig which coincided with the last day of the successful Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

From the general section to the VIP and VVIP, it was a sea of party lovers converging to shut down the City of Kings and Queens in style.Without a shadow of a doubt, everyone who made their way to the venue for the 7th edition of the gig undoubtedly got their money’s worth. They were treated to brilliant stage performances.

With Mzoe 7 and DJ Nospa MC(ing) the event, it was fun on stage. The two masterfully handled the mic, ensuring the crowd stayed entertained during various artiste changeovers.The event featured a stellar line-up, including DJs Mzoe, Templeman, Fantan, Levels, Eugy, and Ribhe, who set the stage for top acts like Murumba Pitch, Emtee, Kwesta, Winky D, Enzo Ishall, Killer T and Bazooker.

Winky D

Ma9nine had revellers on their feet, electrifying the stage with his high-energy performance. He performed some of his hit songs such as Chimuti, Ulotsholiwe and Bathi Ngibhemile.Following his exit from the stage, Jah Master promptly took over and, as anticipated, delivered a stellar performance.

Returning to Queens Sports Club for the second time, the Chillspot Records group, led by the exuberant Levels, took to the stage around 10pm. The big guy, Fantan, delivered yet another memorable set, even removing his shirt and climbing the stage pole for added excitement.

After the trio, Bazooka and Enzo Ishall took the stage, with Ma9nine joining them for an electrifying collaboration.
Just after midnight, South African rapper Emtee took the stage to a deafening roar from his thousands of fans. Emtee performed some of his hit songs such as Pearl Thusi, By Any Means, Abantu, his verse on Ameni and Manando among others.

A spectacular fireworks display illuminated the sky as he performed, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event.
Following Emtee, another decorated South African rapper, Kwesta, took the stage, marking his debut performance in Zimbabwe. He started his set with Vur Vai and gave a shout out to Enzo Ishall.


He delivered a captivating performance starting at 01:20am and concluding at 02:10 am. Some of the standout tracks he performed included Ngyazfela Ngawe, Spirit and Ngud.“Thank you for the love, Bulawayo. Thank you for the support you’ve always shown me. It’s my first time performing in Zimbabwe, and I didn’t know there’s a heaven like this,” he exclaimed while on stage.

Following Kwesta, Murumba Pitch took the stage and kicked off their set with one of the biggest songs of the moment, Imithandazo by Kabza de Small and Mthunzi featuring Young Stunna.They kept the crowd entertained for a solid 40 minutes.
Shortly after, fan favourite Winky D graced the stage at 3am and delivered another classic performance that lasted for over an hour.

Murumba Pitch

The Gaffa, as he is affectionately known to his fans, began with a nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminiscing where it all began for him. True to form, he did not disappoint, leaving his fans yearning for more. Killer T and Saintfloew were to follow after the dancehall chanter.

The show continued until 7am, with energetic crowds still fully engaged.Not to be overshadowed was Mhungu, an up-and-coming Zimdancehall artiste from Bulawayo, whose talent was discovered during the show’s promotional road shows. Although he only had a brief moment in the spotlight, given more time, he could have undoubtedly captured hearts with his performance.

The fusion of artistes from various genres ensured that attendees with different tastes were catered to. Additionally, the DJs played a diverse selection of music, complementing the variety of performances throughout the event.Overall, the event was a resounding success. However, the massive turnout overwhelmed organisers, with some attendees resorting to jumping over the sports club’s walls to gain entry.

Enzo Ishall (Picture by SirCarly)

Additionally, there were instances of attendees forcefully entering through the VIP gate, leading to overcrowding in the VIP area, which ideally should have been more secluded.Indeed, despite the challenges, the event left a lasting impression on the organisers, artistes and fans alike, creating memories that will be cherished for a long time.
As they bid farewell to Bulawayo yesterday, the visiting artistes extended their gratitude to the organisers and the fans for their overwhelming support.

“Shout out to everybody in Bulawayo who came out to the Bulawayo Shutdown show. The crowd was amazing, and the hospitality was top-notch. I really appreciate all the love as I felt at home,” said Emtee.

“What an experience! As my first time performing in Zimbabwe, I felt very welcomed. There was a vibe. When I stepped on stage, I could see the love and as I was performing, I could feel the vibe. It was one of the most magical moments of my career. Shout out to Bulawayo and Shutdown organisers,” Kwesta expressed.


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