Mapfumo's tour in false start

HARARE - Chimurenga music guru Thomas Mapfumo’s much-anticipated December Peace tour opening gig at Gweru Golf Club failed to take place after bungling by the organisers resulted in the abandonment of the concert amid chaotic scenes.

Mapfumo and his Blacks Unlimited band were geared and ready to perform but the show organisers failed to have the sound system and stage ready all night and deep into Saturday morning. The show was scheduled to start at 7:00pm.

Even when the stage was set, the technical team could not connect the sound system and lighting due to their failure to secure a three phase armoured cable to connect to an electricity point.

Entertainment Republic officials spent hours running around to address the problem but it proved to be a wild goose chase. By midnight fans were still milling around outside the venue waiting for the show to start while those who had already paid and were already inside were slowly becoming agitated and restless.

To his credit, Mukanya refused to cancel the show and gave the promoters time to sort out their mess as he did not want to disappoint his fans. The singer took time to do a photo shoot with fans in the VIP lounge waiting for the technicians to rectify the glitches.

As the clock went past 1:00am with no solution in sight, it increasingly became evident that Mukanya was never going to perform. And all hell broke loose!

Angry fans manhandled one lady cashier dragging her for over 30 minutes demanding refunds of their $10 that was being charged as entrance fee.

Denford Katambira of Entertainment Republic tried to quell the angry fans but was cornered again by revellers and it became violent as empty bottles were thrown in his direction while others physically manhandled him. The police stepped in and Katambira managed to make good his escape into a Honda Fit with the revellers in hot pursuit.

The Blacks Unlimited publicity manager Blessing Vava tried to absolve the promoters from the mess pointing out that the current crisis in the country also affected the preparations for the show. 

“It’s not anyone’s problem really we had done our homework well and prepared to perform but then we faced challenges in accessing cash and fuel.

“The guys spent two days trying to get diesel for this show hence the delays in transporting the equipment; we are sorry to our fans for the no show, however, they should hold on to their tickets and we will have a family show on Sunday.”

Vava also pointed out that they had problems with immigration authorities over Mukanya’s citizenship since the Chimurenga icon used his American passport to fly to Zimbabwe. As a result the Mamvemve hit-maker was being treated as a foreigner throwing into doubt the December Peace tour. 

“We had problems with the immigration authorities and we were not sure if this show was going to take place until today (Friday) because they were saying Mukanya is a foreigner; we had to run around until we eventually managed to have the show.”

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Comments (1)

Should have listened to my warnings over such a congested programe with lots of road travelling, not with the obtaining fuel crisis. But the failure to realise well in advance that an 3 phase armoured cable was requirement points to stupidity on the part of the organiser Entertainment World its a mockery that the supposedly erstiwhile Mapfumo associates himself with such medioca.

Sinyo - 10 December 2018

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