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Xenophobia: SA stars stay away from Bulawayo

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PROMOTERS of celebrated South African disco music king Dan Tshanda’s Zimbabwe tour set for May 1 have put it on ice following the outbreak of xenophobic violence in the neighbouring country.

BY LUYANDUHLOBIO MAKWATI

Attacks against foreigners started in Durban a week ago and have since spread to Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa.

Zimbabwe said two of its nationals had died in the violence and hundreds were displaced.

Tshanda was in Bulawayo last month to conclude a deal to stage shows in Bulawayo and Gweru.

His promoter, Dave Ncube, yesterday said it was not possible to go ahead with the shows given the rising tension caused by the xenophobic violence.

“We believe we would have lost our spirit of ubuntu to be seen celebrating while our relatives and brothers are dying while others are being displaced,” he said.

Ncube said his company Sekunjalo Investments had reached an agreement with Tshanda to postpone the shows.

Cancellation of Tshanda’s shows came hard on the heels of a decision by another South African group Big Nuz not to perform in Bulawayo last night.

Big Nuz said security in Zimbabwe was not guaranteed after some locals launched a social media campaign to persuade them not stage shows while hate attacks were still raging.

Ncube said the promoter of the Big Nuz gig, made a sensible decision as security of the revellers was not guaranteed.

“What the Big Nuz promoters did is correct because they understand the value of life and if people proceed with such events our shows will be used as scapegoats by other elements in society who could cause violence,” he said.

However, another top South African artiste Cassper Nyovest who was a target of the campaign, has vowed that he will be in Bulawayo next weekend.

His promoters, 3D Events, said cancelling Nyovest’s shows would ruin their business.

“As things stand we are going on with our show because we engaged artistes before the xenophobic attacks. What we are saying is that we have paid them and as a company we are going to go on with our event,” Mduduzi Mdlongwa of 3D Events said.

“We are saying we need not incapacitate these people even us promoters.

“We do not condone what is happening in South Africa and people should understand that we organised the show prior to the skirmishes that are taking place.”

South African artistes are hugely popular in Bulawayo and their shows present an opportunity for a big pay cheques for local promoters

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