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Poor audience disappoints Reggae By Foot concert

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Despite putting everything in place including massive promotion, the Reggae By Foot concert organised by Team Entertainers at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday failed to pull an impressive audience.

The organisers started advertising the concert featuring headliners South African acts Thuthukani Cele and Sister Phumi Maduna and local heavyweights Black Missionaries, Alleluya Band, Skeffa Chimoto and Billy Kaunda way back.

But the concert received a poor audience that shocked the organisers.

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“The show was very good no doubt about that. The sound was good and all the acts put up impressive performances but the patronage was very bad. We are disappointed.

“To be honest we were anticipating a good crowd looking at the way we went about the business and again being in Lilongwe,” said Team Entertainers Director Tonderai Banda yesterday.

The Reggae By Foot concert came barely a week after Team Entertainers also experienced a setback in a gospel show at BAT which failed to take place due to rains.

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The gospel show at BAT was also part of unveiling the state of the art stage which was used at the Reggae By Foot concert.

“Lilongwe has always been great when it comes to attendance so we were expecting the best. All the same we are thankful to those who came and as I said earlier, everything we promised we delivered,” he said.

Banda could not be drawn to say what led to the poor turnout of the concert despite the massive promotion.

However, some quarters have attributed the poor turnout to the loss Malawi’s Flames suffered against Madagascar.

The game was played on the same day at Bingu Stadium in Lilongwe where Malawi failed to utilise home ground advantage as they lost 1-0 and 2 nil on aggregate.

Team Entertainers also made sure they put big screens at the concert for people to watch the match.

Some people, who patronised the concert said save for the poor patronage, the concert lived up to its billing with good sound and impressive performances.

“The audience was indeed poor and again the headliners performed late which I didn’t like. But all the same the performances were on point and the sound very good. Thuthukani Cele and team offered good reggae vibes,” said Vincent Jere.

According to Banda, Sister Phumi Maduna and Thuthukani Cele alongside the People Band formerly The Slaves left the country on Sunday.

They jetted into the country last Wednesday and were given a perfect welcome by several Rastas.

Cele, who used to work with fallen reggae maestro Lucky Dube used the concert to promote his new album Eyes for My Babe, which he worked with the country’s renowned producer Ralph Ching’amba.

The album for the veteran reggae artist, known for the hit ‘Usizi,’ also has a Chichewa song whose title is in English titled ‘Rainbow.’

Fondly known to the fans as Thuthu, the dreadlocked artist was the longest serving member of the Lucky Dube Band which he joined in 1983 as a keyboard player.

Blacks’ vocalist Anjiru Fumulani said on Sunday that it was an experience for them sharing the stage with the South African acts.

“I remember we watched Thuthukani at Kamuzu Stadium when Lucky Dube performed in the country. We were very young and to share the stage with him and the team now as Black Missionaries was an experience. We learned a lot from them,” Anjiru said.

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