US star Chris Walker: I wish I'd given Eddie Zondi a big hug for all he's done for me
US superstars Chris Walker and Chante Moore will be in SA on Sunday to perform at a concert in tribute to the late Metro FM presenter Eddie Zondi, who died five years ago.
In an interview with TshisaLIVE before he landed in SA, Chris shared his excitement in finally being able to say "thank you" the best way he can to Eddie through a concert filled with music Eddie loved to play.
Chris explained that he had been told about Eddie and how he had helped popularise his (Eddie's) music in SA a while back, but just as he was preparing to come to thank him personally, Eddie had passed away.
"I was sad when I heard he passed away. I was looking forward to meeting him... But he passed and so I wish I had the opportunity to ask him what he heard in my music that made him want to share it with others the way he did. From what I've heard, what he did for me was so significant that without Eddie I wouldn’t be as known as I am in SA.
"If he was still alive, I would tell him how much I am grateful to him. I would have thanked him for taking a chance with me and my music. I would have given him a big hug. This is the only way now that I can show him my gratitude, with this concert," said Chris.
The Someone To Love Me Forever hitmaker said he's been to SA a couple of times and he's always been blown away by the kindness of South Africans. He said his favourite word is Sanibonani, explaining that before the greeting was fully explained to him, his first association of the word was the hot African sun.
"The first thing I thought was; 'Sanibonani... sunny" and it just lightens up my mood. I love the different languages of this country, it sounds poetic. Even when I listen to the music and I don't really understand, I'm still intrigued by the language.
"Africa has always been so gracious to me. Every time I come here for a concert or anything really, the passion South Africans have for song is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. So I know that we are going to have fun."
Chris will be traveling to SA with his wife, whom he said loves the country almost as much as he does. He also has a project out that he released recently, We're In This Love Together, to celebrate Al Jarreau.
"I spent a lot of time with Al Jarreau - about 22 years. It was only fitting then that I was part of the people that gave him a tribute to honour him the way I know he would have wanted to be honoured. I know I can channel him and his energy when I’m on stage. Al used to tell me: 'When you realise you can, you must.' I wanna give people the opportunity to experience him and his music through me."
Chanté Moore and Jaziel Brothers will also be on stage on Sunday to honour Eddie.