ike it has always been said, different experiences and outcomes offer different lessons as well.
Since the Castel Malawi rebranded KucheKuche unveiling event in Lilongwe last Saturday, the main talking point has inevitably been the gaffe committed by afro-pop singer Onesimus. What he thought was an innocent joke eventually earned him the wrath of the patronage.
Almost seven days after the incident took place, I won’t go into the FINER DETAILS of how it all panned out. By now I believe every ardent arts fan is aware of what happened. Therefore, I will not attempt to delve into what Onesimus to get himself there and how event organisers can lessen the eventual danger or risk that the artist faced at the time.
The stage is always an exciting spot to be. Standing on such a platform and towering over thousands who are drooling at your presence and shouting all superlatives your way is a feeling that should send anybody on cloud nine.
These are moments that one would wish they could go on and on. How one responds to the fire that is beneath you at such point depends on the calmness, focus and reasonability in you. There are evidently many who get carried with such moments.
The excitement and feel of importance makes them to forget their script and what happens is that they stray eventually.
For musicians, their time on stage should be solely dedicated to singing. There is very little space to allow them have long drawn speeches or addresses. It is not wrong to interact with your audience, but there should be a cut off where you can indulge in such.
As has become a common practice, most artists mistake themselves as motivational speakers, comedians and pastors when they are on stage. They rumble over issues that are not supposed to be addressed at such platforms.
As a performer, the worst thing you can do is to find yourself in a spot where you have divided opinions of your fans. When you are there, take yourself as a factor to unify all the patrons present. What you say or do determines if this is achieved or not.
Jokes, being what they are, can excite a certain section and send another numb. Some people are very sensitive by nature and easily take offence even over some things that can be classified as trivia.
Facing such hetero-crowds is one task which requires one to make measured and careful utterances if one dares open their mouth. My brother Onesimus should have known better. His error of judgement left him with eggs all over his face.
But he is not alone. There are many others who are lost in the same tendency. Onesimus day came and from his own words, he has learnt a bitter lesson and has promised to do better next time. The wise learn even from mistakes of their enemies. Let’s hope they have drawn lessons from this episode.
Another thing worth looking at is the use of glass bottles when selling beverages during such public events. In their anger and frustration with what the artist did, the patrons found nothing apart from bottles to use in chasing the performer off the stage.
As a matter of public safety maybe next time and as a norm, let beer be sold in plastic cups which don’t present no serious risk to injure anyone once thrown at somebody. It is not something that is beyond us. We can do it.
Intoxication has a way of making people act unreasonably and the decisions that one makes in the heat of the moment, are usually rued the next day. The few crazy heads who threw bottles on stage probably had no preconceived malice, but they just deemed it fit then.
It is an action they would later regret in the event that Onesimus was to be subjected to a serious injury. The best organisers can do is cushion that threat by selling the beverages through the safest mode possible.