When music promoters Entertainment Republic announced their arrival as hosts to Chimurenga musician Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo’s Big Bira gig to be held at the end of next month, they were guaranteed a massive turnout, but the stakes appear to have changed dramatically.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Show-offer socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure is apparently out to spoil the party by bringing Nigerian pop star Davido’s 30 Billion Tour to Harare on April 21, a week before Mukanya graces the local stage for the first time since 2004.
Local concert-goers have never been known to shy away from a once-in-a-lifetime event and neither are they the kind to miss on the trendy happenings, categories in which the two shows fit.
Since tickets for the Big Bira went on sale, organisers have been recording comfortable sales, but with the continental crowd-puller set to perform just days before, the question becomes: will Mukanya attract a full house at the Glamis Arena or will Entertainment Republic be left counting losses of failing to break even after booking an artiste of Davido’s calibre?
“I do not think it [Davido show] will affect us because the audiences for both events are different and Thomas Mapfumo is bigger locally than the other artiste, so it is not something we will lose sleep over,” Entertainment Republic boss Tendai Johannes told The Standard Style on Friday.
Johannes reiterated the sentiments of Mukanya’s camp publicist Blessing Vava, who told this publication recently that the Homecoming Bira would be the most attended show in recent history.
“The first 5 000 tickets, which were the cheapest going for $10, have been sold out already so because our tickets are system-generated into three tiers, we are now automatically on the second and they are selling very well,” said Johannes.
“I am sure this is going to be the first sold-out show in Zimbabwe and we are targeting 20 000 to 25 000 people.”
For the financially stable, attending both would be ideal, but the majority of music lovers with a lean budget might have to choose between the two events.
While Davido is coming into the country months after defaulting on two local appearances last year, there is no doubt that a significant number of people especially in Harare still have the appetite to see him on stage in the same manner as was when he filled up Belgravia Sports Club back in 2015.
“Zimbabwe, your undisputed Afro-pop icon is definitely coming this time around on April 21 at the HICC [Harare International Conference Centre],” Kadungure captioned a snippet video of Davido confirming the gig on his Instagram account.
“Please come and experience as we shut down the city. It’s definitely not a show to be missed! Get ready for the best performance.”
It is indeed new school versus old school and the supporting acts will also assist in choices to be made by those drooling for a live music treat during the two weekends.
Mukanya’s supporting acts will include Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Sulumani Chimbetu, Winky D, Andy Muridzo and Gary Tight.
Ginimbi and his team seem to have settled for the left-out Jah Prayzah, Killer T and ExQ, among others.
The pricing will come into the picture in the interestingly action-packed last two weekends of the month of April, which will set the record straight on what constitutes music influence locally.