Unfulfilled pledges stand in the way of Gidess Chalamanda’s US tour as organisers might be forced to trim the entourage.
As it stands, seven out of 14 people are confirmed for the trip as organisers continue to push well-wishers to honour pledges.
But regardless of the sponsorship challenges, the trip is on, according to organisers.
“All the money raised is around K4 million (about $5 800) and we need K3 million (about $4 400) extra. Whatever the case, we are so determined to make it happen,” said one of the organisers, Davis Njobvu of the acoustic duo Edgar ndi Davis.
Edgar ndi Davis have been long-time Gidess Chalamanda collaborators and are part of the veteran musician’s entourage alongside gospel musician Patience Namadingo.
“Apart from Gidess, myself and Edgar, we have a seven piece band, making a total of 10. The money we have is enough for four tickets, Mike Chilewe has bought a ticket as well as an allowance for Gidess, me and Edgar we are buying our own tickets. K1 million from Mike Mlombwa of Country Wide Car Hire plus the money we raised through shows is going towards the buying of the other four tickets.
“However, this means we need three more tickets; hence, the three million kwacha shortfall for us to travel as a full band. Patience Namadingo is travelling with his two band mates and he is meeting all those costs,” Njobvu explained.
Initially, the delegation needed about K40 million (about $58 000) for the trip to materialise.
“I have been getting different quotes depending on the routes and the lowest is around K1 million to and from Washington, direct. We are making arrangements with people on the ground to find transport once we arrive there, having noted that we have not raised enough money here. It’s not something to bother us honestly.
“Initially, the whole trip was coming to around K40 million because we had to meet each and every cost from this end. It included charges for venues, accommodation and food, both before and during the show. But our friends in US have found people who will pay for the venues among other things,” he said.
The group leaves on June 27 for the event dubbed Gidess Coming to America Tour, aimed at realising the legend’s childhood dream of not only seeing America, but performing there. n