27 June 2009

Zimbabwe: A Dollar for 'Special Meat' Concert

Harare — FLAMBOYANT musician Calisto "Pop Star" Nyamhute - popular for the hit song Special Meat - seemed to have overestimated his popularity when he staged a show in Rusape.

It turned out to be a disaster as only TWO people paid to watch him perform, earning him a princely US$1!

At first, he says he thought people were taking their time to enter the venue. So he started performing at the scheduled time, to realise only later that the fans he had expected to pack the aisles were not there.

He was forced to call it quits, prematurely.

The 34-year-old Chitungwiza-based singer, with 10 albums under his belt spanning over a decade, conceded that times were hard for many musicians, including himself, who were struggling to fill up the venues of their shows.

"Things are indeed tough in the music business," he said. "Many musicians are failing to fill up venues. At my last show in Rusape, I got only a dollar after two people had paid.

"One of the people was physically handicapped. I felt sorry for him and he ended up paying R5, while another person paid the same amount in order to get into my show."

Under such circumstances, some artistes end up opening up the doors to let fans in free of charge, as was the case at a recent gospel show in Epworth.

Nyamhute, who has changed his stage names a number of times, has previously complained his music was not being accorded the recognition it deserved. He has used such names as The Bullet, Special Meat, Pop Star and more recently Muchinda Anoyera, among names derived from the titles of some of his hit songs.

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