Firstly, let me start by saying I do not feel worthy to be writing this post. I doubt that I can fill this page with enough venom that fans who waited faithfully for Wizkid to turn up at Heroes Stadium on time can. Nonetheless, I feel I will be failing in my duty if I did not address the disaster that happened on 30 April 2016. In fact, it should be a day marked in the history of every music promoter, aspiring promoters, and those who flirt with the idea.
I like people with ambition; admire people with huge ambition, but I envy those with bold, unadulterated ambition. It is the unadulterated ambition that Transblast Entertainment had that I applaud. They had an audacious target of fill Heroes stadium just like Cassper Nyovest, who apparently was in Livingstone on the same day had done at the FNB Dome in South Africa. However, their idea of filling Heroes stadium was not with Zambia playing Brazil or signing a constitution oh no. It was with Wizkid. Who? You might be asking, oh yes, some people might be asking that question too. Fortunately, I know him, he is a Nigerian artist even though I cannot tell you one song he has done. He also recently featured on Drake's song. It was this fellow who Transblast Entertainment had pinned their hopes to filling Heroes stadium.
Now remember I envy people with bold, adulterated ambition, likewise, I cringe and shudder in pity for those whose ambitions border along the line of insanity. I honestly wish I was around with the people who cooked up the idea to bring Wizkid to Zambia and thought that they could fill up the stadium. Just how did they arrive at Wizkid of all people really. I know sometimes I can be dumb but awe I cannot be that stupid that I am failing to comprehend at how they arrived at Wizkid. Didn't JayZ, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, cross their minds while they were discussing?
The tickets were pegged between K100 for ordinary to K1, for VIP. If you know anything about most Zambian promoters, VIP is just a nice way to steal your cash. VIP is never really VIP. You will still get to mingle with us commoners who pay K100. Once they should have asked FAZ how they fail to fill up the stadium even when football prices are as cheap as K20. Transblast Entertainment then went on billboard abuse attempting to sell the idea that Wizkid was a mega superstar worthy of us attending his concert. His face littered billboards across major roads that it was almost impossible to ignore. I give it to the promoters, they tried their best to sell this guy to the Zambian masses.
|One of many billboards around Lusaka|
Despite all the promotions and hype that were going around Wizkid concert, Transblast Entertainment should have seen the warning signs. There was immediate resistance to the ticket prices on their social media platforms. Pre-ticket sales should have also given an indication that they were headed for something tragic. However, they soldiered on, that is what I am talking about that I envy such ambition. As if the apathy not enough the forces beyond their control began to transpire around. There were too many events happening on 30 April. There was the Mosi Day of Thunder in Livingstone, Lafarge Marathon, a MegaFeast at my church, a Writers Circle meeting and I had a friend's Chilanga Mulilo to attend, eish those just too many functions for one day.
As they say in showbiz, the show much go on. The schedule and performance line-up was released a few days before, and Wizkid was due to perform for almost an hour at 22: 10 hours. So his loyal fans I am told and read on social media trickled into the stadium. They arrived on time in readiness to watch their man. Some claimed that the organisers were still setting up the when they got there. The stadium was 0.000005% full, okay that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. 22:10 hours Wizkid no show, 23:00 hours no show, 00:00 hours no show, 01:00 hours no show, I think he turned up somewhere between 02:00 hours and 03:00 hours at which point many of the fans had already left exhausted. Shall we please sing the national anthem for those loyal fans who stuck around. deserve a medal. Because I am a Judas in that regard, kaleza Chineke oooooo I would have gone with a speaker for wasting my time. This blog post would have been FIRE, FIRE, FIRE. All you would have been reading is **&&$%&*****#$#@#$$%%^^^&&##%^% throughout. Transblast Entertainment Facebook page was inundated with fuming fans who were frustrated. Some of the things I read, I think I need to exorcise my eyes mwebantu.
|Fans faithfully waiting|
|Empty Heroes stadium|
For the amount of promotion Transblast Entertainment did, and I am assuming the colossal amount of cash they gave Wizkid to come just how did they allow him to show up late? Wizkid should have been in the country two to three days prior to his show, done the media rounds, taken selfies with fans, done a sound check and another sound check then perform at 23:00 hours. I know the explanation given by Transblast Entertainment about Wizkid missing his flight and all, but I am sorry in Zambia, we give too many excuses, and many people get away with it. People work hard for their money and give up their time with family and friends to show up at a concert. least promoters can do is respect that.
This disaster is definitely one for the reference books. Music promoters now risk been viewed suspiciously because we have had too many such problems happening. Sean Paul anyone. Even I now have decided to change my stance over attending foreign artist's concerts. I am only buying tickets once I know they have landed at the airport, and I have seen a Zambian into their hands. And I am buying the ticket at the door when I hear sound check happening. As for me buying VIP tickets, over my dead body.