9 October 2012

Zimbabwe: P-Square Comes to Town

A video drop on Zimbabwe Television and on Facebook advertising Nigerian group P-Square confirms their forthcoming performance this week at this year's Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival which will be held on Saturday, October 13. In the video clip Nigerian duo Peter and Paul Okoye, who lead the group, confirmed their Harare performance, saying they would be at Glamis Arena, Harare Showgrounds.

The video confirmation puts to rest various reports regarding whether or not the "Chop My Money" and "Beautiful Onyinye" hitmakers would indeed perform in Harare as was eagerly anticipated after they failed to turn up in August this year.

It looks like this year Delta Beverages are not taking any chances after the Beres-Hammond "no show" last year. They have "partnered" the Harare International Festival of the Arts to organise the event.

They have also made sure that Peter and Paul Okoye of P-Square do appear on our screens regularly prior to the show to give the public the confidence that they are indeed coming to Zimbabwe.

That is good.

Patricia Murambinda, Delta Beverages marketing manager, says the Lion Lager brand would be working with Hifa, a highly experienced events organising company, which specialises in well-organised Zimbabwean artistic events."

However, despite working with the highly experienced Hifa, which usually holds its festival in May every year and advertise the event extensively with posters all over Harare at least three months in advance of the event, is it not strange that the organisers of the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival have failed to do the same. There are no posters at all about this event in the streets of Harare.

So how are they taking advantage of their partnership with an experienced organising company? Besides, Hifa always announces all the performing artistes in a programme every year before the event.

The organisers of the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival are only concentrating on P- Square and none of the supporting acts such as Winky D, Chiwoniso Maraire, Amara Brown Roki, DJ Rax, Ba Shupi and Mic Inity. Are they not aware that there are some fans who will attend the show because of the local artistes?

The partnership between Delta and Hifa is an interesting development because George Mutendadzamera, the Delta Corporation's corporate affairs director, was made part of the Hifa management team last year. So in a way Hifa's involvement is one and the same thing as the players are the same. Perhaps Tafadzwa Simba can explain why there are no posters on our streets advertising the "big" event.

One thing we know, though, is that Shumba Instrumentation has nothing to do with organising this year's event. According to Murambinda, "Lion Lager is thrilled to present P-Square to the Zimbabwean public in addition to a fantastic line-up of Zimbabwean acts".

"Presenting them in conjunction with an act such as P-Square will go a long way in getting our Zimbabwean artistes to take their place in the pantheon of international acts where they deserve to be." The organisers have, however, announced that P-Square will come to Harare with an eight-member band for a live performance. At least we are assured of good quality music unlike other promoters who prefer to bring artistes who are backed by CD sound tracks.

Event organisers insisted they would aim to raise the bar with every aspect of the show from entry procedures, security and quality of experience conforming to "worldwide best practice". "More details on how this will conform to world standards would be released soon, but what I can say at the moment is that despite the bar being raised, the ticket price will actually be very affordable courtesy of the generosity of Lion Lager who want to give back to their customers through what is essentially a highly subsidised ticket," said one of the organisers.

The Lion Lager Summer Festival is in its fourth edition and in the past has been graced by such acts as Beenie Man and Cocoa Tea.The festival is hosted annually by Delta Beverages as part of its public interaction programme.

This year it will be held at Glamis Arena to accommodate the multitudes expected to flock to the festival.


P-Square are a Nigerian R&B duo composed of identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye. In December 2011, they were signed to Akon's Konvict Music label which has enabled the duo to do a collaboration and release songs like "Chop My Money" throughout the world.

P-Square are on everybody's mouth in the UK today as they are played regularly on almost every radio station. Early this year P-Square conducted a successful tour of Britain. They performed at London's Hammersmith Apollo in August and are due back in the United Kingdom in December. They will arrive in Harare on Thursday, and will be interviewed live on Zi-FM radio at 5pm the same day, according to the organisers.

Initially, the Nigerian outfit, were scheduled to perform in Harare on August 31, but this failed. The tour was confirmed by May 7 Entertainment who had planned to bring the artistes for a performance at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Maxwell Mugaba of May 7 Entertainment told me that the agent they were dealing with eventually let them down and the deal failed to go through. The concert had also been scheduled at a time when the duo was in mourning after they lost their mother.

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