Mapfumo, cheated by promoters, delays US trip for another show
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CHIMURENGA music legend Thomas Mapfumo, smarting from being cleaned dry of proceeds from his Peace Tour shows around Zimbabwe by promoters, has delayed his trip back home in the United States by at least a week so that he holds a “farewell gig” with Sulumani Chimbetu in Harare, ZOOMZimbabwe can reveal.
Mapfumo has been the butt of crude jokes all week after he got kicked out of his Glen Lorne rented apartment over rental arrears.
His cash problems came after his promoter and publicist allegedly vanished into thin air with proceeds from at least three shows Mukanya had around Zimbabwe.
According to Mapfumo, the promoter named Max Mugaba was responsible for ensuring the musician’s rentals were taken acre of. However, Mapfumo found the apartment locked by the property owners over arrears.
Deputy Minister Fortune Chasi came to the rescue and secured Mapfumo alternative accommodation until Monday so he could prepare his flight back to Oregon, US.
But Mapfumo has to stay for much longer as he has agreed to perform at a “Mukanya Farewell Show” at Las Vegas Club in Southerton. He plays alongside Dendera music maestro Sulumani Chimbetu.
The show is set for Friday 15 February, and is dubbed ‘Valentine’s Concert.”
An unpleasant experience induces caution, hence the old adage “Once bitten, twice shy”. Mapfumo will have to throw all caution to the wind and pray that this time, just this last time, he gets paid his dues.
Mapfumo’s Peace Tour has been plagued by mishaps right from the beginning.
He kicked off his Peace Tour in Gweru at the Golf Club on 7 December at an event that was well attended. However, despite having arrived in Gweru well in time, he failed to perform because of technical glitches, leaving many of his fans there disgruntled.
By midnight, the Gweru stage had no lighting and fans were in darkness. Apparently, this was because there was no cable to connect power to the stage from the main supply unit at the venue. While organisers tried in vain to solve the problem, it did not work out forcing them to abandon the event at about 1AM.
In Bulawayo the following day, the organizers had hoped to make up for the Gweru event as the sound and lighting was on point. Sadly, there was a low turnout at the Large City Hall.
If one expected the scenes of a sea of people that gathered at Glamis Arena for Mukanya’s Homecoming Bira in Harare earlier in 2017, they were certainly in for a rude awakening in Bulawayo.
The crowd that gathered at the Large City Hall was a minute drop in the ocean and it was disappointing for a musician of Mukanya’s stature.
Perhaps people were priced out of the gig as it cost USD10 to enter the venue or 40 bond.
Also, it rained in the city on the show’s night, likely deterring some show goers.
The event organizers on their part had themselves to blame for the low turnout as they relaxed and barely marketed the show in the city.
No posters were put up as they likely relied on social media platforms like Facebook where they put up posters of show dates. Basically, the marketing/hype was not the same as the Homecoming Bira where everyone in the country knew about the event.
Then came the accusations of promoters cheating him of proceed of his subsequent shows.
Surely, for someone as legendary as Mukanya, the nightmare in his own home country is beyond unfortunate. — ZOOMZimbabwe