Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Who Still Goes to the Show?

The Agricultural and Commercial Show has become a mainstay in the Zambian calendar. It takes place during the first week of August every year. Most people remember going to the show as kids being taken by their parents or guardians while they chewed on Candy floss. At a time when Lusaka had very little variety of entertainment, the show was usually anticipated. However, for some of my friends, they believe that the Show has currently lost its shine. Well the numbers do not seem to be dwindling. So I am wondering if that is the case, then why I have been going to the show grounds every single year for the past five years and will definitely go next year.

Many of my friends do not believe that the show has the same appeal it had ten to fifteen years ago. Well to some degree they are right. The people who used to stab their heads or the magicians who used to make a woman float are no longer there. We would look forward to our faces being painted and the fear of ensuring that you cling onto your father’s hand so that you do not get lost. My argument is that at that time, we used to go to the show purely for entertainment and excitement of getting to meet your classmates there.  Definitely, if you go to the Agricultural and Commercial Show with that same mindset, you are most likely not going to enjoy it.

One-Stop Shop
I currently find going to the show as a one-stop shop. Instead of me having to trot across town to get to compare prices of services I could want, the show provides me the opportunity to get it all in one place. Take, for instance, when I want to compare the services offered by the banks, all I had to do was go to the bank pavilion. In the same vein, this time around it was masters programmess and their pricing that I was most interested in. Copperbelt University, Lusaka University, Chreso University, DMI St. Eugene and Zambia Open University were all exhibiting. Talk about killing many birds with one stone.

Beat the Bargain
The other reason that I appreciate about the show is that it is an excellent place to find a good bargain. Prices of products are usually sold at a discount to show goers. This means that you will find them cheaper than you would ordinarily get them for in shops. Since there are many business houses both large and small scale it really does present an opportunity to bargain. For example if you were looking for a contractor to help you build your house; there are contractors who you can directly talk to and negotiate there and then. It is the same thing if you are a farmer, agriculture equipment suppliers, fertiliser suppliers, seed suppliers are all there. Now tell me if this is what you are looking for can it be difficult honestly to get a good bargain? You will be discussing with the decision makers of the companies after all.

Discover New Stuff
It is also a good place to learn new stuff that you would not necessarily be interested in. This time around my mission was to get to learn more about unit trusts. I have been considering an investment in unit trusts for some time now but never got the opportunity to understand them fully. So I did end up visiting Madison one of the companies that have unit trusts. How a unit trust operates and the conditions that Madison offers were also provided to me. I left that stand, with a clearer view of unit trusts than I had gone there with and came up with a conclusion. A unit trust is not my kind of investment. Now assuming that I had not gone to the show it would have taken me a while before I arrived at this decision.

It’s all About the Entertainment
Then the obvious reason to go to the show is the entertainment. The show only comes around once a year, there is a feel that the show creates that does not normally happen. The crowds found at the show add their own personal twist to it. This year around at the grounds there were acts like JK, BFlow, PJ, an act from South Africa, an act from Brazil and the main draw Fally Ipupa. These are all free, by the way.

There are definitely more reasons to go to the Agricultural and Commercial show apart from the ones that I have highlighted. I will acknowledge that maybe some people have outgrown it and assume that it is no longer for them. However, I definitely go to the show for different reasons, and each time I go, I always benefit something out of it. It is a great way to spend a day even though my tired legs would not agree. However, what the heck, I will still be back next year.


  1. Well said boss. I equally believe that the novelty of the show may be lost on veterens of it, but it in no way means that the show has lost its appeal.

    As you've said, it takes more than jus' goin' there to relive childhood memories and demand that the show wows you the way it did before. One must acknowledge that times change, and with that change new things should entice us, and we should be mature enough to be prepared to explore us much as we can to discover what new things we can enjoy.

    Thanks Pete.

  2. Chilu you are exactly right. That is what I have been telling me who question my attendance each year. Its a perfect place to get to know stuff in a short amount of time. Besides some of the exhibitors are even more welcome than if you were to go to their premises.