12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: International Gigs - Hits and Misses

With the advent of multi-currency regime in Zimbabwe, music lovers have been treated to concerts and gigs of sorts. Some of these shows were misses while others were hits. Depending on the promoter, venue, charge and performing artistes, some of the shows drew huge crowds while others were poorly attended.

The Herald Entertainment reviews some of the most memorable international acts since dollarisation in 2009.

Having said that, one of the greatest concerts to be staged in Harare featured American R&B artiste Joe Thomas, but because it was before dollarisation we deliberately left it out.

The Joe Thomas concert, sponsored by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority under the Celebrity Host programme, sort of opened the floodgates to many more shows hosted by individual promoters and corporates like Delta Beverages.

The Joe Thomas concert was a hit in that it was held at a time Zimbabwe was receiving a lot of bad publicity from the Western media and the biting sanctions imposed by Britain, USA and their allies and there was virtually nothing on the shelves in almost every shop in town.

In short, times were hard then.

But the economic downturn did not discourage Zimbabweans from having fun. In fact, most people became innovative and enterprising.

There is no doubt the Akon and Sean Paul gig was the most memorable concert of all time.

However, it was marred by a few glitches which in any case were too small to worry about.

For this reason the gig is on pole position.

The second gig that rocked Harare was the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival featuring the Jamaican Beenie Man. It was the gig where Winky D proved his mettle and just as well, Beenie Man was on point.

In third position is the 2012 Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival featuring the Nigerian pop duo P-Square.

Everything from start to finish was perfect and who can forget the twins when they performed their hits "Beautiful Onyinye" and "Chop My Money", which were club bangers at the time.

In fourth position is the first Zahara concert held at the Harare International Conference Centre. The gig was sold out and attracted fans from as far as Bulawayo.

While C&A Entertainment has its faults when it comes to hosting, marketing and advertising of shows, it got some kudos during the Mavado concert held at the HICC. Though without a live band, the Gully Gad had the crowd eating from his palms.

The ZAR Fest organised by Kenny Kunene suffered a setback when Timbaland failed to show up at the event, exposing Kunene and his company as chancers after they failed to give convincing reasons for the "Timbs" no show.

Either way, the show ranks among the best.

Below is a list of the top 10 most memorable shows and seven of the worst attended gigs. There were about six no shows where promoters got excited and advertised shows but to no avail.

Top 10 Best concerts

Show Promoter

1) Akon/Sean Paul Zim Swag

2) Beenie Man Lion Lager

3) P-Square Lion Lager

4) Zahara May 7

5) Elephant Man C&A Entertainment

6) Mavado C&A Entertainment

7) Brick & Lace Yedu Nesu

8) ZAR Fest ZAR Entertainment

9) Agent Sasco C&A Entertainment

10) Sizzla Shumba

Top Seven Poorly Attended Concerts

1) Mr Flavour Simmad Entertainment

2) TOK Yedu Nesu/ZTA

3) TKZee Anonymous

4) Mr Vegas C&A Entertainment

5) Horace Brown RVC World Wide Entertainment

6) Maxi Priest Baobab Entertainment

7) ZAR Fest ZAR Fest

Top Six No Shows

1) Vybez Cartel

2) Timbaland at ZAR Fest

3) Mary J. Blige

4) Sizzla (2012)

5) Beres Hammond

6) Boy II Men

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