03 November 2014 – SITUATED in Gauteng provinceâ€™s East Rand, Â Ekurhuleni Boksburg Hotel Â is slowly carving a name for itself as one of the few exclusively Zimbabwean joints in SA.
â€œWe are mainly there to provide entertainment to Zimbabweans living in Â South Africa. It is an epicenter for Zimbabweans and conveniently located since most Zimbabweans live and work in Â Ekurhuleni Boksburg and in the East Rand,â€ says hotel manager Mike Mwadiwa:
â€œAlthough there are many entertainment spots in SA and particularly in Johannesburg, Zimbabweans are not very comfortable mixing with other nationalities and they feel more comfortable with other Zimbabweans,” adds Mwadiwa.
To cater for a broad clientele the hotel has about three beerhalls one catering for low income earners, another for middle income earners and the other one for the more upmarket crowd.
Since Zimbabwean businessman Rodger Muzawazi took over the hotel in December 2013, Ekurhuleni has hosted a number of Zimbabweâ€™s cream of musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Sungura king Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Leonard Zhakata among others.
However Mwadiwa is quick to add that the hotel does not only host big names but has also hosted upcoming musicians such as Selmour Mtukudzi (Oliver Mtukudziâ€™s daughter), Tryson Chimbetu and others.
â€œWe are not only there to make money but to promote upcoming (Zimbabwean musicians) by not only having them play at the hotel but also by Â helping Â promote their music by Â even facilitating media interview with local radio stations Â for them to get publicity.”
Some of the musicians we have Â helped Â are Â Selmour Mtukudzi who did a number of media interviews with our help Â â€œ he says adding that even locally (SA) based Zimbabwean musicians also perform at the hotel.
The entertainment program at Ekhurehleni starts on Fridays with DJâ€™s mostly from Khaya FM, like DJ Dollar, Zimbabwean former Radio 3 DJ George Munesti.
Saturday is usually for musicians for Zimbabwean musicians, to cater for the SA crowd there is a Tshisa Nyama and in the evenings are for classical and cool music for the more mature crowd.
â€œWe plan to make this place the epicenter for Zimbabwean entertainment but we also want to cater for the locals and have more people as culturally SA like to go out onÂ Sunday nights thatâ€™s why we have the Tshisa Nyama on Sundays as well,â€ he explains.
Besides entertainment , the hotel has a bed Â and breakfast facility with 18 rooms, which are Â currently being renovated and the number of rooms will be increased to 30 this month(November).
â€œAll nationalities are welcome to stay at our hotel, a majority of whom are shoppers and business people. We are also renovating the hotel to offer customers a conference facilities, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, which is quite important for business meetings.â€
The conference room will accommodate about 30 people.
The skyâ€™s the limit and the hotel plans to host to more artists in the coming year.
â€œNext year we will be bringing more musicians and increase and dancehall artists for the younger crowd like Shinsoman and these upcoming youngsters so we have a bit of everything for both the young and old .â€
Meanwhile for the festive season the hotel plans to bring Macheso back on 29 November and he will also will be playing at Hillbrow Theatre. On 6 December the hotel will Â be hosting the Botswana based Zimbabwean musician, Slizer and Peter Moyo and on 16 December Mtukudzi will be back to perform at the hotel.
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