Jamaican reggae sensation Luciano (real name Jepther McClymont) is currently in Africa for gigs in Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Nicknamed ‘The Messenger’, Luciano has been a household name on the dancehall scene in the mid-90s and is known for his conscious lyrics, powerful stage performance and hits such as ‘Give My Love a Try’.
After a successful start to the tour on Saturday 28 March at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi for the Reggae Unites Festival, Luciano is in South Africa for gigs in Cape Town and Johannesburg on 3 and 5 April respectively, dubbed Return To Africa 2015. Thereafter he is set to perform at the inaugural Pacific Zimbabwe Sunsplash festival on 10 April.
The singer had been scheduled to perform in Harare on 1 November 2014, but cancelled his show due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. His Sunsplash performance is the latest sign of Zimbabwe’s growing stature in the international reggae and dancehall scene, thanks largely to the phenomenal rise of local Zim-dancehall. Capleton, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, Sean Paul and Elephant Man are some of the big Caribbean names to have performed in Zim in recent years – although local media have suggested that Zimbabwean acts have lately been upstaging their touring Jamaican counterparts. Malawi is also proving a popular destination for Jamaican stars.
The Pacific Zimbabwe Sunsplash festival on 10 April will also feature local stars such as Jah Prayzah, Tocky Vibes, Winky D, Soul Jah Love, Transit Crew, Fyah Links, Sulu Chimbetu and Martin Sibanda of Ndolwane Super Sounds, among others.
Organiser Partson ‘Chipaz’ Chimbodza told Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail: “Zim-dancehall has been in existence or close to a decade but it is the experience of Jamaican artistes like Luciano that has helped shape the movement. We hope when he comes for the Pacific Zimbabwe Sunsplash gig early next month our guys will learn one of two things form him. In fact, we expect him to tell us his thoughts on the genre.
“The Sunsplash will be used as an introductory party for Pacific brand ambassadors Sulu, Jah, Tocky and Martin. The unveiling of the ambassadors is a big event on its own. We have brought in Luciano from Jamaica to grace the occasion and I believe our partnership with Savanna Tobacco will yield a memorable affair,” added Chipaz.
Meanwhile, another Jamaican heavyweight, Busy Signal (real name Glendale Goshia Gordon) has announced that he will perform in Zimbabwe in the not-so-distant future.
According to Zimbabwe’s Daily News, Busy Signal recently revealed to Jamaican television show Onstage: “I love Africa. Africa act like they own Busy Signal and that’s a very good thing in terms of my songs… At the moment I've got Zimbabwe lined up and it’s pending at the moment. I've also got Uganda lined up and a lot of different places in Africa.”
Busy Signal has been a fixture on the global dancehall scene since his 2005 breakthrough, ‘Step Out’. Like Luciano, he had been billed to perform in Zimbabwe in 2014, but had to cancel his show due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Still, Busy Signal is no stranger to Zimbabwean dancehall fans, having featured on the song ‘Show Me Love’ by Zimbabwean artist PeeKay (Patrick Kahlari).