Good people, spare a thought for Sipho Makhabane. When the South African gospel star arrived in Lilongwe two Fridays
ago, he was eager to play a starring role in his first performance in the country. This is his job, his bread and butter, his
His debut in the country was supposed to be the moment of joy and happiness, but what his manager expected to be
a memorable experience for the star and his fans turned sour when it was discovered at a late hour that the organiser of the show had not settled all the dues for the venue. A show organiser who has no sense of giving curtain raisers their dues is likely not to have any respect for the headliner.
A crooked show maker is like a violent partner on a date. If the partner is rude to the waiter, do not expect him or her to be the polite one for you. The show was partly cloudy when I wrote last week’s entry in which I invited the National Product Magazine supremo
Steve Chinyamula to observe a minute of silence and ask themselves why not many of their events pan out without payment scandals.
The last time I checked ‘national’ was a protected tag word in the book of protected names and symbols. Chinyamula was cruising on a slippery path to drag the country in mud when he penned bad cheques for Faith Mussa who was supposed to open the show.
The launch of the 50th edition of the little known magazine was doomed to fail the day Chinyamula was deceived to think entertainment
is an open ground for fraudsters. “You can run, but you cannot hide” is an old music theme. What flies the farthest from mother
earth is supposed to land. Chinyamula’s crash landing occurred the day he was in police custody
for failing to pay a motor vehicle mechanic while Sipho, the ‘Big Fish’, was panting for a way to make peace with his heartfelt fans at the
locked doors of Bingu International Conference Centre. I do not want to glorify the speculation that the unaccountable show organiser got himselfdetained because he had no believable explanation for the visiting musician and his fans following his failure to procure a venue for the show.
Whatever happened in Lilongwe, Chinyamula owes Malawians full refunds and a million apologies. This is why it was insensitive to say he is only happy to give back the money, but he owes nobody an apology. Arrogant fraudsters of his make have no space
in the creative sector where people of decent manner and honest labour derive the needful unwinding when it matters most.
I am hearing National Bank of Malawi (NBM) flew Jamaican reggae star Busy Signal on a Malawi Defence Force (MDF) chopper. That was taking show marketing higher. I am tempted to think the brains at NBM have put show business beyond the reach of children, imposters and fraudsters. Thanks NBM for investing in giving music-loving Malawians smiles and a quality time. We need more of big brands to partner big shows in the country.
This is why I was seething in awe that day veteran brewers at Carlsberg Malawi lost a marketing duel with newcomers SABMiller, leaving thousands of Malawians who grew up guzzling “probably the best beer in the world” enjoying Morgan Heritage’s most anticipated return with probably the next big brews in hand. Companies that care about their clients, especially how they spend their free time, must take part in making the entertainment sector work. Thumbs up NBM for investing in show business because showbiz is serious business, an escape from the numerous ordinary jobs and routines that weigh us down with stress, weariness, boredom and all that unpleasant jazz.