The much hyped Utsi Tuluka Mega Gospel concert, organised by Team Entertainers at BAT Ground in Blantyre on Sunday failed to stand out as it attracted low patronage despite having a rich line-up of artists.
Team Entertainers was hosting the gospel show for the second time, having organised another show in March this year at the same venue, but the concert was disrupted by heavy rains.
It was in this vein that Team Entertainers decided to come out again and, this time around, they were hoping for nothing but the best.
It turned out to be another bad day for them as the concert registered a small crowd.
Team Entertainers Director, Tonderai Banda, wore a brave face, saying they did their part but Blantyre did not come out to support them.
“We did our part but Blantyre didn’t come out to support us as much as we expected. But it’s fine, it’s part of business for we can’t win them all,” Tonderai said.
He added: “You win and sometimes you lose and this is what has happened but it’s fine and we won’t complain and this is not the end. We believe there is more to come and you shouldn’t forget that we have the Sound and Light Concert coming up in Salima later this month.”
The organisers did well on promotion and showed their seriousness when they started mounting the stage on Wednesday, finalising it on Friday.
Dubbed Utsi Tuluka simply because of their smoke and light set of equipment, the show delayed to start despite announcements that the gates would be opened in the morning.
By 1pm the performances had not yet started and it was Lilongwe-based Evans Meleka who opened the show around 2pm.
He performed for sometime before leaving the stage for veteran Paul Banda and his Anthu Ambiri Band.
“I am excited to perform here because apart from performances, you also have time to interact and learn from each other,” Meleka said.
Before the old-timer took to the stage, Anthu Ambiri Band siblings – Enot Spear Mbandambanda, Kanthu Kaka Kalinda and Rod Valamanja-warmed the stage.
Before he started his set, Sir Paul Banda hailed Team Entertainers for organising a show for gospel artists.
“We have to commend Team Entertainers for a job well done and they have done well in supporting us, gospel artists, who need such platforms,”.
With performances taking shape, sound was somehow not 100 percent good for the ear and it surely needed perfection.
Having started late, master of ceremonies Stanley Kadzuwa could have moved in fast to control the proceedings but he failed in his duties, allowing artists, some of whom were not billed to perform, to drop more songs.
This affected the line-up and in the end some artists including Thocco Katimba, who closed the chapter only performed two songs while Ndirande Anglican Voices did not perform.
The group, which was recently voted Best Choral during the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) 25th anniversary celebrations, waited only to be put last.
Ndirande Anglican Voices’ lead vocalist, Dennis Kalimbe, came on stage to apologise that they could not perform and by then the already low patronage had become smaller.
“We wanted to perform and this is why we did not want to leave. It’s sad we could not perform and this was not a good situation for us but, all the same, we should thank Team Entertainers for organising the event,” Kalimbe said.
Tonderai said they could have started on time but most of the fans came in late.
There were also performances from Gwamba, Favoured Martha, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Limbani Simenti, The Great Angels Choir and Miracle Chinga Moffat.
Some quarters commended Team Entertainers for putting up such a show but felt the venue was not convenient for a gospel show, hence the low turnout.
The show went all the way into the night.
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