She came, saw and conquered.
The much anticipated performance by South African musician Makhadzi at the JamAfro festival held at Alexandra Sports Club, Harare, turned out to be what her fans had hoped for — “Epic”.
Not even the poor sound system that almost threatened to ruin the show could dampen her enthusiasm, high energy and well-choreographed act to thrill her fans.
Makhadzi, who was dressed in a glittering silver attire with black ankle boots, proved her mettle as she put up an electrifying performance, dishing out the crowd’s favourite tunes.
She executed songs such as, “Sugar Sugar”, “Ma Yellow-bone”, “Beke le Beke”, “Matorokisi” and “Haulakwe” among others to jovial sing along from the crowd.
The public address system had hiccups which Makhadzi noticed, and then covered up with her wow factor and dance routines.
“Zimbabwe is my home and I love you all. Thank you for coming. I know the bad sound wants to affect my performance, but let’s have fun,” said Makhadzi as she resorted to dancing. “I am performing the songs by one of your own Mr Brown who produced them.”
The bad sound was not only on Makhadzi, it was even worse for South Africa-based Zimbabwean Mr Brown’s leading to his performance being cut short.
Visiting Jamaican singer Neelah could wish she had not come, as she had a bad day in the office. Apart from the sound system which affected her acts, she was booed on stage.
Well, none seemed to be interested in her performance.
She acted like a wannabe on stage and each time she sang, she was booed, some even threw water bottles on stage asking her to go back, while others could just wave at her that it was time to go home.
She was only saved by her scantily dressed Jamaican style as she donned a leotard.
Again, it seemed Neelah didn’t do the sound check based on how she presented her act, worsened by the poor sound system.
Besides, no one was bothered as most people in showbiz are now used to seeing Nicki Minaj, Beyonce even our own Kiki.
Earlier on, local musicians had a good day in the office when they put up a good performance to a highly expectant crowd and these included Freeman, Feli Nandi, Juntal, Mai Titi, Jah Master and Sulumani Chimbetu.
Jah Master’s performance is a topic for another day. He was energetic, but failed to link with the crowd.
He started performing new songs which left the crowd minding their own business, ignoring the proceedings on stage.
For first time goers at such shows, they could think Jah Master was not good enough, but it was the choice of his playlist that betrayed him.
Then the organisers of the much-touted show missed the plot, not only on sound system, but on the poor organization itself.
Did they do their homework on what to expect? Or they were still in the Covid-19 pandemic mode which affected shows for almost two years?
The organisers even went on to bar fans from entering the venue with their cooler boxes. Yes, they might have wanted to increase and boost their beverages sales inside the venue, but Zimbabweans are used to bringing their drinks and cooler boxes to shows.
This resulted in some guests, including some local celebrities, being turned away at the gates.
After the chaos, the guests at a later stage were then allowed to bring their booze inside.
Then another mishap was having a crowd on the stage, which affected those even in the VIP area who couldn’t see much of what was taking place.
Why on earth do you need more than 20 people on stage, not performing, but busy with their mobile phones, going live etc?
We are pretty sure even Makhadzi was shocked with such behaviour which hindered her performance.
Yes, we agree that those people would be related or are friends of the promoter, but is it necessary to have them out-crowding the performers on stage?
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The biggest blunder the organisers also made was not to hold a press conference for Makhadzi considering she came on Saturday morning ahead of the show.
This could have boosted their marketing strategy by making people aware she was in the country.
The turnout could have been higher had the organisers held proper and well organised media campaigns on both print and radio platforms.
A press conference for Makhadzi would have been ideal to hype the show.
But every dark cloud has a silver lining.
Though the show did not attract a full capacity as Makhadzi could have wanted considering she had just shut down Botswana during her tour with thousands in attendance, the organisers can be saluted for the sitting arrangement.
The security and demarcation of the VIP area and the rest of the ground was excellent.
Everyone had his or her own space to dance and enjoy the show.