The Christmas season, long expected as it were, ended up being a labyrinth of regrets when it came to international artists performing in Malawi.
First to get into the limelight for all the wrong reasons were KCP and Fepo Music Entertainment Company, who announced that they would fly into Malawi South Africa award-winning afro pop duo, Mafikizolo.
Mafikizolo would hold shows in Lilongwe and Blantyre, so Malawians were told. It was not to be.
For all their marshaling of words, for all their masterly at crinkling their lips into an inviting smile, the organisers could simply not master the art of flying Mafikizolo into Malawi.
Instead, they were left with the tedious task of convincing Malawians— while fixing their eyes onto the faces of the expectant but frustrated members of the audience— that it would be okay next time they organise a similar show.
But, surely, the organisers should rest assured that they will find it difficult to let their words of assurance penetrate the concrete walls of public scepticism next time they plan to invite an international artist.
After all, it is not the first time that a show involving a foreign act has failed. K-Ci & JoJo comes to mind. Quickly.
From the look of things, event organisers seem to be organisations and, in some cases, people armed to the tooth by a vast fund of experience in planning and carrying out such programmes. This is evidenced through their investment in publicity.
But, maybe, a little bit of selfishness comes into play because, instead of teaming up with others, a number of organisers work in isolation. They seem to hope that lonesome life is less constrictive than collective life.
And the consequences have not always been positive, let alone inspiring.
Which is why KCP and Fepo Music Entertainment Company can, somehow, be patted on the back for believing in the formality of collectivism. Two are better than one, though not enough to, in their case, fly Mafikizolo into the country.
Then, there is the issue of Professor coming to Malawi.
Today, Jam Networks Media and Marketing Officer, Kennedy Mkombezi, who was in the forefront blowing the trumpet about Professor’s coming and performance, can only sit stiffly and fume if asked about what happened for the famed artist to fail to perform in Lilongwe last weekend.
Of course, Jam Networks managed to bring Professor to Malawi. But, then, Professor was not on a tour of Lilongwe City; he came here to perform to a live audience.
And perform he did not, apparently because a diesel-powered generator decided to swap punches with revellers’ hopes of a grand, memorable performance.
How sad. Especially because, for all we know, hydro-powered electricity has been playing games on our minds, so much so that we have become a nation so used to power outages that we no longer get incensed when they pay a dark visit on us.
The positive side is that blackouts are easy to beat: have a stand-by generator and load it with fuel; enough fuel to boot!
That [loading the generator with fuel] they did not do and the result is that Professor was in, but did not perform. No job done.
This may be one of those things but, if the truth be told, the development does not augur well for Malawi.
Of course, Malawi’s reputation— in the face of South Africans— is battered. Remember South Africa president Jacob Zuma’s comment about the poor state of Malawi’s roads the other day? That is it!
But, still, organisers would have done better on this one.
After all, it is them who told us that the renowned South African Kwaito artist and multi-award winner, Professor of Kalawa Jazmee, would be back in Malawi; and that he would perform – read, without fail— at Civo stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday, December 24.
The Kwaito star, whose real name is Mkhonzeni Langa, did not refute that. He even honoured that announcement with his arrival, ready for the show.
The Durban-based artist jetted into the country high on the hopes that he would mesmerise Malawians.
But, sadly, organisers let him, and Malawians, down big time! It is as if Nkombezi did not say, in The Daily Times of December 23 2016, that:
“We are very serious about this show. Everything else is paid for as we speak. To show our seriousness, we have bought them air tickets, booked accommodation for them, among other things.”
To buttress his point, he even brandished air tickets.
It is as if Nkombezi did not say that Jam Networks had borrowed a leaf from festivals and shows held before, and had learned from the hiccups that marred a number of them not to repeat noted mistakes.
It is as if we, Malawians, do not learn!
This is no laughing matter. Even if one were to laugh, the laughter would, surely, be fashioned by a sad mind.
Trusting event organisers is like looking for a needle in a bag full of maize husks!
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