I BET the hot topic of the past couple of weeks has been the Kalawa Homecoming show that seems to have caught everybody’s attention.
What amuses me most is that when artistes make money everybody turns their heads and seeks to find out how on earth they did it yet when they languish in poverty nobody gives a damn about it.
I am not about to crucify Oscar Mdlongwa and his stable nor defend them for anything they were found wanting in during their hugely successful show, but surely we need to salute the man!
There are over 6 000 people who are prepared to pay any price to watch a show and buy beverages at twice their normal prices?
Unbelievable how for all these years we have moaned the assertion that our local community is not outgoing, but yet a local boy comes all the way from down south and everyone who cares to floods a venue to witness his “homecoming”?
I am not able to provide answers as to how Kalawa managed to do the “undoable” in Bulawayo because I am equally baffled.
One answer I have is that Kalawa simply gave the people what they wanted to hear, what they wanted to see, but if you ask me what it is . . . I also don’t know!
What do the people of Bulawayo want? I wish they could tell us, they could share it with local promoters and artistes because I know they all would kill to lay their hands on that secret, judging by the uproar in the media and social sites in the past week.
Some people even went to the extent of accusing our beloved local deejays, artistes and musicians of lacking creativity. Really? I disagree vehemently.
Khuxxman was very creative when he did the hit song MaNcube. He was relevant and on point, but did even 200 people attend any of his shows or let alone buy his song? I don’t think so. Some even said the song did not belong to him but Oskido.
Lovemore Majaivana was a legend. Did we throng venues to watch his shows? Not those that I can remember.
He left and even sang that he would rather go abroad because in his own hood nobody cared about him. After he left we all cried out loud that he should make a comeback.
It was too late. The list of our very own creative artistes is endless.
I accept that our local artistes and promoters have their shortcomings, but in my opinion using the Kalawa homecoming show as a measure of that is slightly unfair.
I would understand if Kalawa drew the same numbers and cashed in over a million rands week in and week out in South Africa.
Instead in South Africa they also cry foul as the Rihannas and Beyoncés come all the way from abroad to sweep rich pickings from their very own turf and territory. Such is the showbiz. Foreign acts always tend to attract more attention than local acts.
I am the director of Iyasa and I can safely tell you that overseas we play to full houses day in day out, but the same may not be said locally.
We are very far from fully understanding the fan bases and as I once suggested, unless and until we do proper statistics and informed research on audience needs in our region, we shall always feel shortchanged.
It’s very tempting to blame the people for not supporting their own, but then when it comes to entertainment let alone music you can not force an interest on the fans yet I believe you can influence trends.
That is what South Africa has managed to do. The South Africans have been aggressive in marketing their music trends to the extent that it has become more or less like a fashion and some sort of status symbol to love and play it.
I asked those that claimed local artistes were not creative to tell me how many of our people even know what the hot lyrics “Ayuyuyaa . . . Y Tjukutja . . .” mean.
Nobody seems to know, but it is like a national anthem sung along by all and sundry! The deejays and musicians from across the Limpopo have mastered the craft of coming up with one-word sing-alongs that catch on like veld fires especially in Zimbabwe.
Bubblegum music as it maybe, but it always does the trick and by the time the taste is gone they are smiling all the way to the bank. Kalawa got it right and the thousands who attended their show are not results of overnight advertising.
Yes, they had posters all over the city as early as November, but I think their best draw cards were our local deejays, radio stations and bars who play their music all year through wetting the appetites of the people and making them want to attend the December homecoming show; the same local deejays that complained that they were excluded from the show.
The same venues and bars that could only watch as they remained empty on the day of the show, the same scribes who wrote so well about the show build-up and are now seeking answers on how Oscar smashed the bank need to pat themselves on their backs for they made Kalawa’s night in paradise.
Blame not Kalawa, blame not our local artistes and blame not the people for choosing what they want to pay for their fun. Hear, hear.
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