CONFUSION surrounds the string of shows that failed to take off in Bulawayo last weekend with the organisers failing to explain what led to the cancellations.
There had been a lot of hype in the city with dancehall forerunners Winky D, Jah Prayzah, Shinsoman and Soul Jah Luv pencilled to perform at various places, but only Shinsoman took to the stage at Club Royal.
Soul Jah Love’s Club Forty-40 show was marred by violence after the artistes refused to perform although he arrived at the venue, while Winky D who was set to perform alongside Jah Prayzah at a wedding expo after-party did not turn up.
Disk jockey for the after-party, Happison Macheka aka Dj Nospa, told Woza Weekend that he had been conned into setting up all his equipment and entertain the crowd, but was not paid.
“The promoter told me his name was Akim Sibanda, but that should have been a fake name because I later heard his real name is Tafadzwa Maridadi from Harare,” he said.
“He changed the venue of the show from City Hall to Elite and pocketed money for advance tickets, but was nowhere to be found when everything was supposed to start.
“He even sent some ladies to collect cash at the door and I was nearly manhandled by the people who had paid for the show when the artistes did not pitch up.
“The audience considered me part of the organising team, but I had also been duped.”
Winky D distanced himself from the wedding expo after-party on his official Facebook page saying he would be in Kwekwe at Zesa Munyati Power Station where he performed on the night.
However, promoter Sibanda refuted allegations that he was a fraud saying Macheka was out to tarnish him for no apparent reason.
“I have been talking to him daily and explaining the situation to him,” he said.
“This issue about Maridadi is also not true because I know him and he assists me to network. He was not even in Bulawayo.
“Our problems started when council refused to let us hold the after-party at City Hall and we had to move to Elite 400, which has less capacity.
“Our efforts to reason with the artistes to reduce their charges were fruitless.
“When Winky D posted on Facebook disowning the show, even Judgement Yard, who had turned up, left.”
Sibanda said he was in the process of organising refunds as he was communicating with all those who had paid over the phone.
Meanwhile, the Soul Jah Luv show at Club Forty-40 the previous day also proved a disappointment when he did not take to the stage.
Lucky Muza, who promoted the show, blamed Club Forty-40 for the mishap.
“When an artiste shows up it means all payments have been made and I think Soul Jah Luv was not happy with the security provided by the club,” Muza said.
Efforts to get comments from Club Forty-40 management were fruitless as entertainment manager Sibanengi Ndebele, aka Dj Mzoe, and the club manager both said they were not present on the day.
“Why do you want to write about the show now that there is a problem and you didn’t write to advertise the show in the first place,” asked Ndebele.
“Soul Jah Luv also did not perform at Cape to Cairo which means it is not solely the club’s problem.”
It was not evident who was directly responsible for the failed shows, but revellers generally said they were now afraid of being swindled of their hard-earned cash, calling on promoters to be more transparent and professional.