Dar es Salaam. What a fun-filled two weeks it has been for Bongo Flava fans. Within the last 14 days, we’ve witnessed more thrilling entertainment than we ever thought possible considering the current global mayhem.
Bongo flava artistes, Naseeb Abdul alias Diamond Platnumz and Rajab Abdul aka Harmonize were, unsurprisingly, the stars of the two-week utter excitement as avid music lovers were taken to a journey of master vs student.
The two music heavyweights went neck and neck as they spiced up the Simba Sports Club and Young Africans (Yanga) special occasions organised purposely to introduce the football clubs’ new players. But before that, we also got a glimpse of the new rivalry (if you can call it that) as they both came with guns blazing during CCM’s recent campaign – by the way, AliKiba was also present during this showdown – a story for another week, let’s not digress.
Back to the football extravaganzas; two occasions warranted two separate events held at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, the national arena which is home to two of the biggest football clubs in Tanzania – Simba and Yanga.
As the football giants were prepping to flex their muscles, they also had other plans under their sleeves that would send not only football fans but music lovers as well in a total frenzy.
Simba opted to sign Diamond Platnumz to its roster – a befitting choice considering that one of his many aliases is Simba. Yanga, on the other hand, decided to forego an artiste who for many years was seen as Diamond’s closest rival – AliKiba, and instead went on the transfer market to recruit Harmonize.
So, for the two iconic football celebrations Diamond and Harmonize were lined up as leading artistes on each occasion.
As Diamond entertained thousands of fans during Simba Day, Harmonize did the same during the special celebration known as Mwananchi Week.
On the football side, both teams; Simba and Yanga played an international friendly match against Burundian teams, Vital’O and Aigle Noir respectively. The foreign teams were handed heavy defeats.
Diamond left nothing to chance on this day as he stormed the Mkapa Stadium amid all sorts of excitement using a hired State Aviation helicopter.
The robust sound from fans who’d nearly filled the stadium to full capacity was almost deafening. As Diamond jumped out of the chopper with Simba’s Spokesman Hajis Manara in tow, it was a sight to behold as he jogged around the field to embrace the applause that was coming in profusely.
Diamond put up quite a performance for about half an hour before jetting off the stage.
Among the songs he fervently performed were some of his bangers such as Baba Lao, Yope remix, Rockonolo, among others, including a special song he’d recorded for Simba sports club.
As expected, the star dominated the stage with an ensemble of dancers. Among the spectators was Simba’s chief financier and board of directors chairman Mohammed Dewji, who couldn’t hold back from joining the singer on dance to burst a few moves.
Social media was a busy place on the eventful day as the creative artiste left a mark during the celebration. The trending topic was his style of arrival and how he managed to entertain the crowd.
The cherry on top of the successful day was Simba’s 6-0 routing of their foreign rivals.
Simba’s spectacle must have sent Yanga’s creative team into a moment of reckoning in order to come up with something with an even bigger bang. This now became a rivalry beyond the football spectrum.
Heading to their occasion, Yanga’s leadership began by introducing Harmonize as the artist who will headline Mwananchi Week.
The football side also decided to recruit the services of legendary singer Juma Nature to spice up the event.
The decision to have Harmonize aka Konde Boy on their side made the Mwananchi Week an even more exciting affair as this now involved two camps in the music front.
Considering the fact that Harmonize is a former member of Diamond’s WCB record label and now runs his own music empire promised for a heated affair.
In to one-up Simba Day, Yanga started from scratch – detailing a unique arrival for their headliner on the entertainment front.
Whereas Diamond used a chopper for his arrival on the event day, Harmonize hired the same from State Aviation but instead used it as a means of transportation for his soundcheck two days before the main show.
This raised some eyebrows and left many wondering what was up the singer’s sleeves since he had now already matched Diamond by using a chopper, and this wasn’t even the main event.
This bold move was seen as an early blow to Diamond and his Simba camp.
Speculations were wide and varied as to what means of transportation Harmonize aka Jeshi would use for his arrival. Some said he was going to use a hired plane, a cross-section speculated on the possibility of using a military fighter tank, others favoured the use of a horse, while others had wild imaginations such as the use of witchcraft-related modes of entry.
The mystery of how Harmonize was going to make his entry became the talk of town as the arrival part of the event was billed to be one of the takeaway moments from the event.
To the surprise of many, Harmonize opted for a commando-style entry. He was bolstered with equipment as he used a rope dangling up high the centre pitch as his gateway onto the stage. Apart from cheering, fans were taken aback by the act – one which was completely out of the box.
Despite a tumble during his landing maneuver– almost losing his footing upon making impact with the ground, fans praised the artiste’s courage and unique arrival.
Harmonize shrugged off the early misstep and went on to give his all on the stage as fans in the packed Mkapa stadium – a capacity of 60,000 people cheered on. The crowd on Mwananchi Day was noticeably larger than the turnout during Simba Day – another plus for Yanga and Harmonize.
It was now up to the artiste’s performance to seal victory for the Jangwani boys. Harmonize entertained the fans with different performances. Some of his hits such as Kwan’gwaru, Uno and some latest bangers made the occasion as exciting as it could possibly be.
The Konde Boy managed to go toe-to-toe with his former boss. At the end of the occasion, one where Yanga ended up with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Burundian side, the jury is still undecided on who came out the bigger star between Diamond and Harmonize.
As the tally goes, Diamond had a more vibrant show owing to his stage mastery and skill as an entertainer. However, Harmonize, even with a tumble had a more exciting entry strategy.
As for the fans, Yanga had more of them, but Simba fans managed to put up a show a robust show of support which matched their rival’s chants.
In short, these two occasions officially ushered in a new rivalry in Bongo Flava which sees a student take on his former teacher.