The country was yet again brought to shame on Friday when National Product Magazine led by Steve Chinyamula failed to hold a concert featuring celebrated South Africa’s gospel musician Sipho ‘Big Fish’ Makhabane at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.
The show did not take place because Chinyamula failed to pay the money for the auditorium where Makhabane was to perform.
Makhabane, who left on Saturday, went back to the rainbow nation in disappointment although he has promised to come back to hold his own performance.
He said a lot of event organisers have contacted him in the past years but they have failed to meet the requirements for him to come.
“I don’t want to point fingers at the organisers and I do not want to mention names. Such things happen during events but we need to learn and always make sure we put things right. I am not sure of what happened but I am happy to have met fellow musicians, who I have asked to check the price for the venue,” Makhabane said.
The South Africa star had time to interact as well as take photographs with patrons but also had time to hold rehearsals with a local team of artists including Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Central chapter chairperson, Farai Chazima which he put together after his band members failed to come.
Chazima said they only rehearsed with him for a short period as Makhabane did not want to play with a CD.
“We are disappointed as well that after the rehearsals the show did not take place. I think organisers need to be serious when putting things on the ground, book venues in time and make payment, otherwise it is not good,” she said.
Looking at the whole event, Chinyamula had simply no team to help him execute such a big event.
Managing Director of PBM Construction and Consultants, Peter Matipwiri, who attended the event which started with dinner, said he was very disappointed with the way things went.
“This is bad for Malawi; we can’t keep on holding events like this. We need to be organised. In the first place, let me say that the concept was good but it was done badly. How do you do things on your own without a proper team?,” Matipwiri queried.
Matipwiri revealed that he paid for dinner, banners and tickets for the show but he never benefited on any of them.
“We didn’t eat despite paying for dinner and we paid for the banners and then the tickets for the show which did not take place and how do you explain all this? Malawians are very supportive of these events but when you take them for granted, you always lose out,” he said as he showed close to 10 tickets he bought.
James Kamwana, who bought tickets in one of the outlets, said Chinyamula plotted his own downfall during the event although he managed to bring Makhabane.
“He did well in bringing him but in the end it turned out to be useless because he did not perform. By the way, why did the organisers resort to hold the two events in separate halls, why not hold the dinner and the concert in one hall to avoid other costs? Some event organisers have done that and they have succeeded,” Kamwana said.
He cited the Paul Banda DVD launch which had a dinner and concert and brought on board the corporate and was presided over by the minister.
He said event organisers should refrain from relying on gate collections in making payments but rather create their own separate fund for the budget.
“It is not good to rely on gate collections during concerts, what if you do not make enough? You need to have your own budget which you can raise either through sponsorship. Again others just come in without experience of holding concerts, there was need for consultation to avoid all this mess,” Kamwana said.
Chinyamula, who was arrested on a different issue not related to the event on Friday but was released on Saturday, said people have focused more on the failed show and not the positive side.
“There were positives to the event despite that Sipho Makhabane did not perform. We managed to bring Sipho here and yet others failed, we paid him and we also managed to hold the dinner where the corporate interacted with Minister of Transport, Malison Ndau,” he said.
Chinyamula also argued they did not manage to sell enough tickets and that some of those who were seeking refunds had fake tickets.
Umodzi Park Sales and Marketing Manager, Temwa Kanjadza, said Chinyamula paid for the room they were using for dinner but not auditorium for performance.
Gospel musicians Faith Mussa and Patience Namadingo were expected to warm up the concert but Mussa pulled out after being given a bounced cheque.
With no show, Namadingo did not perform as well but was present during the event and also received an award during dinner and had time to interact with Makhabane
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