Mandoza's Poorly Attended Show

Top South African Kwaito star Mandoza left the capital this week a bitter man after a crowd of less than 30 people turned up for his show. Mandoza, whose real name is Mduduzi Tshabalala, jetted into Harare on Africa Day ahead of his concert at Glamis Arena but was disappointed to see only a handful of fans at the venue.

"I was not expecting this (poor attendance) in a big city like Harare and to say the least, I am really disappointed. It doesn't make sense that these are the only people who made it to the show," he said. The youthful musician, who was accompanied by four of his friends, regretted ever coming to Harare, saying the small crowd undermined his popularity. "I am holding shows every day back home because of the World Cup but I set everything aside to come to this concert. This affects my reputation. What will people say if they see me performing in front of a handful crowd?" he said.

The show, which was supposed to start at 12 noon, was delayed by three-and-a-half hours as the organisers, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, waited patiently for people to come without success. Despite a fantastic stage and good PA system, the show hit a brickwall as the staff outnumbered revellers. Not only did the flop anger Mandoza but also local dancehall king Winky D and the Rusike Brothers, who performed since they had already been paid.

Mandoza, whose aim was to make a grand appearance on stage, could be seen pondering his next move somewhere in the VIP. The tearful star said he was greatly disappointed about what transpired. Debbie Victor, the ZAS marketing manager, said she was shocked by the poor attendance. "I did what I could to make this show a success but I am also amazed by the low turnout," she said. Some people said the flop was a result of poor marketing while others said the show was expensive. The cheapest ticket was going for US$10 with that for the VIP section pegged at US$20. This means that ZAS incurred huge losses after they injected thousands of dollars in preparation for the concert.

The state-of-the-art sound equipment and sound engineers, reportedly brought in from the United Kingdom, chewed up a large chunk of the money. However, the organisers insisted that the musicians perform to try and recover a bit of money from the gates and at the bar. Desperate to see musicians on stage, the organisers literally begged vendors and staff to dance. The Rusike Brothers and Winky D performed below their standards while Mandoza played for less than 45 minutes. He concentrated more on dishing out his posters to the fans instead of singing.

Mandoza is expected to perform at Bulawayo Sports Club tonight where he commands a huge following. The award-winning musician is popularly known for his multi-platinum smash hit Nkalakhatha.
Mungwadzi Godwin

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