ALICK Macheso and Winky D headline this year’s edition of the UK SAMA Festival, which starts tomorrow.
Y2K Promotions and Diaspora Insurance are behind the annual festival aimed at promoting Zimbabwean culture through music.
The first leg takes place tomorrow at Leicester Athena Auditorium and the last event is set for the O2 Arena, London, this Saturday.
Selmor Mtukudzi, Baba Harare, Jah Signal, Mambo Dhuterere and Nox are also part of the line-up.
Zimbabwe-born wheel-spinners DJ Welly, SAB, DJ Mel, Empress Trisha, Jah Hanief and Fatha Ansy are also part of the two-day event.
Speaking to H-Metro after his arrival in the UK yesterday, Macheso said they were looking forward to the event.
“We have just arrived this morning (yesterday) ahead of this festival which begins on Good Friday.
“I have reshuffled my team since we are operating as two bands to give others an opportunity to be noticed here.
“We are promising nothing, but fireworks having last performed here before lockdown,” he said.
Macheso hailed Zimbabwean music promoters in the Diaspora for giving local artistes international exposure.
“I understand the SAMA Festival has become a permanent feature on the entertainment calendar here in the UK with the aim of promoting Zimbabwean culture.
“I’m just grateful to be part of this movement that has managed to bring together Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
“We thank Y2K Promotions for their efforts aimed at promoting both artists and our culture,” he added.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Jah Signal, who performed at the last edition of the festival.
“It feels good to be back in the UK where I have established myself, thanks to the SAMA Festival organisers, who still have faith in me.
“It can only be God’s grace that I still have promoters and fans who value me in the Diaspora where each and every artist back home wants to perform.
“I have plenty to offer to my fans here,” he said.
The energetic performer said he was not on vacation.
“We are here to make you happy and I can assure you that you will never get disappointed,” he said.
This edition, which returns after being shelved in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is a celebration of life, event organisers say.
Y2K Promotions spokesperson, Belinda Magejo, said everything was on course.
“The rest of the artists on the line-up like Macheso, Selmor, Nox, Baba Harare, Winky D’s band and Mambo Dhuterere have already arrived.
“We expect Winky D to arrive later in the day (yesterday) but the rest of the guys are here.
“This year’s edition seeks to celebrate the gift of life after we missed the 2020 and 2021 editions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are glad that we are back with a strong line-up comprising Alick Macheso, who will be making his first appearance at this festival,” she said.
Nox will cater for urban contemporary music lovers while Baba Harare is set to add variety with jiti songs, which are deeply grounded in Shona tradition.