Having an international artist coming to perform in Malawi seems like a good idea for fans to have a chance of meeting their idols face to face.But when the costs for such events are inordinate, questions are raised about whether it is a gamble worth taking.
P-Square, the Nigerian duo of Peter and Paul Okoye, key performers at the African Movie Awards Nominations to be presided over by President Joyce Banda, has been hired to perform at the Lilongwe Golf Course on March 15.
Dubbed “Experience Malawi”, the highest billed show, touted to be the biggest concert ever held in Malawi, it is expected to bring 10 000 P-Square lovers together.
The show will be a pre-concert ahead of the AMAA nominations scheduled to take place the following day, March 16.
One of the organisers, Zilani Nyundo, said they expect the show to raise K100 million (about $277 777).
The duo has received up to $60 000 (about K21 million) to perform in Malawi.
The figure does not include the cost of hiring supporting artists such as Maskal, Piksy, Sally Nyundo and Nyimbo Music Company’s new signing duo of Fortress.
According to a Lilongwe-based promoter who did not want to be identified, when they tried to bring the Nigerian musicians, they were told that they had to pay $120 000 (about K42 million).
“We felt that was exorbitant, since if we paid that amount, they would not perform with a band. That was too much for us,” said the promoter.
An ordinary ticket for the show is costing K10 000 (about $28), a VIP ticket is going at K15 000 (about $42) and a VVIP ticket is selling at K25, 000 (about $69), charges Malawian artists cannot dare mention.
According to the website www.ovation.com.ng, P-Square is the highest paid musician in Africa.
“Not only in Nigeria, not just in West Africa, but the entire continent of Africa, P-Square of Nigeria is the highest paid artist in Africa both in performance fee, endorsement contract fee, and album sells,” reads an extract from a story on the website.
Not only has the P-Square show received huge accolades from the duo’s lovers, but from the political side as well as Friends of Joyce Banda in support of the President’s Initiative to enhance the film and entertainment industry.
Special assistant to the President Martha Chikuni wrote on her Facebook page: “1 000 P-Square tickets up for grabs, just text ‘I Love JB’. Will post details tomorrow. President Dr Joyce Banda, committed to supporting the youth. Viva JB Viva!”
In an interview, Chikuni said the first 1 000 people to send the text to 50505 in a promotion run by Shuwa Mobile will have the chance of free entrance using the 1 000 ordinary tickets.
Fortress’s record label Nyimbo Music Recording Company chief executive officer Daudi Suleman said no contract has been signed with P-Square regarding the duo’s performance. He said there has been a verbal agreement and conditions, one of which says they will have 45 minutes.