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Mixed fortunes in pre-Christmas shows

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Christmas is supposed to be a bowl of celebrations.

And the road to Christmas is supposed to be paved and happiness-smitten.

For some artists, this has been the case. For example, Lulu and his Mathumela Band have this month already courted patients at Kamuzu Central Hospital.

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They have sung for free in the name of the spirit of Christmas.

“We decided to sing at Kamuzu Central Hospital for free. It is our way of giving back,” Lulu said recently.

However, some pre-Christmas shows have not gone according to plan. For example, a party organised by Cream, led by Timothy Chikoti, flopped at Robins Park in Blantyre last Sunday.

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While the line-up was rich and the organisers harboured hopes that they would woo hordes of fans, that was far from the case.

In all fairness, the event failed to fit the bill of a pre-Christmas show as less than 20 people made it into the hall.

The show was billed to start as early as 11am but it did not and by 3pm the performances had not yet started.

In fact, after taking note of the delays, some of the people who had paid the K1,000 entry fee started demanding their money back. And, caught between a rock and a hard place, the organisers had no choice but to start the performances.

To make matters worse, Lilongwe-based Great Angels Choir, which was billed to perform, did not show up, a move that irked the sizeable audience.

Great Angels’ Music Director, Ephraim Zonda, said later that the organisers did not give them the necessary things for them to be available at the show.

Despite the performances starting, things looked disorganised.

Chikoti, with gloom written all over his face, acknowledged that they lost out big time, but was quick to identify the weaknesses. He blamed poor promotion for the fiasco.

“I am disappointed that we have lost out. This is not what we anticipated but what can we say, other than accepting all this. We just have to take it and move on and we have surely learnt lessons,” he said.

Some of the artists who performed included Limbani Simenti, King James Phiri, Peter Sambo, who has been out of the stage for some time, veteran Wycliffe Chimwendo and Gift Phiri Mlenga famed for the song General.

Sambo said later that the poor turnout was the product of poor promotion.

“I think the organisers did not do enough in terms of promotion. For instance, I asked some of my friends in Blantyre why they didn’t make it to the show and they said they did not know it. Organisers need to invest in promotion which is critical otherwise I am happy that the few people that patronised the show enjoyed it,” Sambo said.

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