Good people, Dumisani Jere is not happy—and he is not the only Mzimba resident perturbed by a scheduled encounter with Black Missionaries which has failed not once or twice or thrice, but four times this year alone.
In his fun-starved hometown, Jere is not more famous than his Joburg Pub. However, the little-known club owner was in the news lately on account of the live performance which keeps failing.
For the past months, the man has reportedly spent about K600 000 churning out posters, hiring security personnel and preparing for the Blacks’ show which was first slated for January 2 at his club.
However, the only news from his much ado about the concert is that it is still pending though he deposited K350 000 as an advance payment.
The long wait speaks of betrayal. It mirrors how high-flying acts let down promoters and show-goers down the rungs.
The day the Blacks approved the gig dates and got the deposit in their bank, they were actually saying: “Let it be done as agreed.” Such transactions create legitimate expectation in more people than those involved in signing the deal.
The major casualty is the audience which waits with legitimate expectations when it gets a wind of an approaching concert.
The Jeres of this world have to deal with crowds that cannot continue taking apologies and postponements forever.
The fans want the fun as promised and it is unlikely they will believe the newest tune that the show is on early April when the band tours Kasungu and Mzuzu.
The Peoples’ Band owes them a believable explanation and atonement.
By cancelling the shows arranged with their informed consent, the Blacks are eroding the confidence they command among promoters and gig-goers.
They are perilously putting their hard-earned reputation on the line. Artists who cannot stick to their word when it comes to tours and concerts have themselves to blame.
Music is not just fun. It is serious business. This is one of the main lessons we got when the Blacks decided to start operating as a company.
The image of the on-off company must be safeguarded from needless knocks. The preventable dents include the tendency of confirming shows they cannot honour.
Good bands go where people are waiting to pay for their offerings. They don’t go to court to settle damages for broken promises.
The brains behind the People’s Band must never relent respecting the reasonable expectations of the people who pay for its wares.
To go for a show or not to when you demand fuel money in advance is an integrity issue. When the decision to stay put, there are costs that the abstaining party must cough and it includes adequate recompense for inconveniences caused.
The Blacks would have been the most untrustworthy band—and not crowd-pullers—if they were specialists in postponing shows in its nascent years when the late Musamude Fumulani and a school of minute boys always honoured their tours of Mzimba, Nkhotakota and other districts.
The small boys have fledged into a busload of men that is probably the best band in the country.
But the bus is going nowhere unless the men on the move learn to pocket money for only those trips they are able to make. n