By Style Reporter
Not all Mafikizolo’s shows in Zimbabwe are winners, and the Friday gig that the powerful South African group headlined at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) was a huge flop.
Dubbed the The Mafikizolo Back in Town Concert, the show did not rise to its billing as music followers in the capital stayed away mainly due to the exorbitant charges. The cheapest ticket at the door was pegged at US$20 (almost ZWL$400), which was astronomical for the ordinary merrymaker.
The show had been moved to last Friday night from September due to xenophobic attacks in South Africa at the time.
Despite the hype that characterised the build up to the gig, Mafikizolo who have endeared themselves with multitudes of music followers in Zimbabwe were left wondering what went wrong after they performed for an empty HICC auditorium.
The show also became a big yawn, as the top South African pop outfit had nothing new to offer.
Show organisers Ross Real and Proma Events had to let in people into the VVIP arena to cover up the gap where only three ticket holders and some hired hostesses were sitting.
The small crowd that jumped at this offer looked like they were caged in a kraal, while the rest of the HICC looked empty.
The show kicked off at 11:38pm with Selmor Mtukudzi taking to the stage. She did not disappoint as she sang her late father’s songs and her own tracks, including Hangasa and Nguva Yangu.
She was followed by Sasha Lishomwa Chiedzo, aka Sasha Amadhuve, who proved she has matured for the big stage having gone through apprenticeship under the tutelage of Progress Chipfumo at the Sound of Motherland band.
Sasha, a niece to the late mbira musician Mbuya MaDhuve kept fans on their feet with a polished act although she was let down by the poor sound quality.
Zimdancehall musician Tocky Vibes had to spend the better part of his time on stage performing in the dark due to a technical fault. His strong voice could be heard and those with strong eyesight managed to see his silhouette. Light on stage was only restored when the Chamakuvangu singer was on his last three songs.
Andy Muridzo, Gemma Griffiths and Diamond Musica, who were among the supporting acts did not have their chance on stage as the event had started well after schedule.
DJ Iroq kept the party vibe going with his selection.
“This is one of the worst music shows by Mafikizolo that I have attended here in Harare. I was not expecting this… poor sound system, low turn-out and above all, there was nothing new from Mafikizolo,” said a fan who preferred to be called Jasper.
A number of socialites and music enthusiasts, who are known for attending shows by foreign acts were conspicuous by their absence.
Efforts to contact show organiser Blessing Jeke were fruitless yesterday.
Mafikizolo, who jetted into the country on Friday are not new to Zimbabwe having performed in Bulawayo and Harare several times. The group returns in the country next month for the year shut down party in Bulawayo.