Monday, 10 December 2018


EITHER it was poor advertising and marketing, exorbitant pricing or Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo has simply lost his shine as his Gweru and Bulawayo shows at the weekend flopped.

Mapfumo kicked off his Peace Tour in Gweru at the Golf Club on Friday at an event that was well attended. However, despite having arrived in Gweru well in time, he failed to perform because of technical glitches, leaving many of his fans there disgruntled.

By midnight, the Gweru stage had no lighting and fans were in darkness. Apparently, this was because there was no cable to connect power to the stage from the main supply unit at the venue. While organisers tried in vain to solve the problem, it did not work out forcing them to abandon the event at about 1AM.

In Bulawayo the following day, the organisers had hoped to make up for the Gweru event as the sound and lighting was on point. Sadly, there was a low turnout at the Large City Hall. If one expected the scenes of a sea of people that gathered at Glamis Arena for Mukanya’s Homecoming Bira in Harare earlier this year, they were certainly in for a rude awakening in Bulawayo. The crowd that gathered at the Large City Hall was a minute drop in the ocean and it was disappointing for a musician of Mukanya’s stature. 

But why could have this been so as this was a man who had been away from the country for the past 15 years? Perhaps people were priced out of the gig as it cost USD10 to enter the venue or 40 bond. 

This pricing saw many people being turned away at the door when they heard the entry fee. One group of eight women caused a scene berating cashiers at the door saying in total they were expected to pay 320 bond to enter before buying beverages. They tried to negotiate their entry before making threats to leave, all in a bid to coax the cashiers. All these efforts, however, were in vain.

Also, it rained in the city on the show’s night, likely deterring some show goers. The event organisers on their part had themselves to blame for the low turnout as they relaxed and barely marketed the show in the city. 

No posters were put up as they likely relied on social media platforms like Facebook where they put up posters of show dates. Basically, the marketing/hype was not the same as the Homecoming Bira where everyone in the country knew about the event.

For those who made it to the Bulawayo show, buying alcohol was a headache as all beers and ciders cost 6 bond, while soft drinks were sold at 3 bond.

Interestingly, just next door to the Large City Hall, it was a different story as youths packed The Vista where Killer T and Mzoe 7 were performing. 

Despite the low turnout, Mukanya’s publicity manager Blessing Vava said they were happy that there were people who came out to watch Mukanya perform.

“If anything, we had an amazing and appreciative crowd that we haven’t performed for in years. It was a very good and memorable show and we’re building the momentum.

“This is a race and not a marathon. The rains did affect the show, but we salute those who braved the heavy rains to come and see us perform,” said Vava.

He apologised to Gweru fans and asked those who had attended the event to keep their tickets as a make-up show is on the cards.

“There were logistical problems with guys who were doing sound in Gweru. We’re appealing to them (Gweru show attendees) to hold on to their tickets as we’re working on new dates to compensate for the loss.

“We’ll be announcing new dates tomorrow (today),” said Vava. Chronicle


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