By Melissa Mpofu
When Jah Prayzah takes to the stage tonight to unleash his new offering Kutonga Kwaro, his eyes will be on the crowd as he needs to attract at least 2 000 people in order for him and his promoters — 2 Kings Entertainment to recover $90 000 spent on bringing Nigerian superstar, Davido to the country.
But before performing, Jah Prayzah has another hurdle to jump as Davido, as of yesterday, was still in Nigeria where he was recalled by police in Lagos as they wanted to interrogate him over the death of his friend, Tagbo Umeike, following the discovery that his statements were laced with untruths.
Tagbo died on his birthday at a bar in Nigeria after allegedly taking 40 shots of Tequila. While the police awaited an autopsy report to ascertain the cause of death, Tagbo’s girlfriend, Caroline Danjuma, had discarded insinuations that he died of drunkenness. She also alleged that Davido ran away after dumping his corpse at a general hospital on Lagos Island.
However, the musician denied the allegation saying he was not at Shisha Bar, from where the deceased was rushed and dumped at the Lagos Island General Hospital. He, rather, said he left the bar for DNA Night Club in Victoria Island area of the state, where he was informed about Umeike’s death.
As a result, Davido has been spending most of his time at the Lagos State Police Commissioner’s headquarters with his lawyer, something which may affect his trip to Zimbabwe and Harare performance.
However, according to show promoter’s, Davido was expected to depart Nigeria last night on board a South African Airways flight to arrive in Harare this morning ahead of his performance with Jah Prayzah.
While most music lovers will be thrilled to have the Nigerian icon who is currently trending with hits If and Fall perform live in the country, the show promoters and part of Jah Prayzah’s management team will likely not even get an opportunity to watch him perform as their eyes will be on the entrance points as they desperately need to recover up to $90 000 that was paid to Davido.
Due to this, security – which is known for swindling show promoters at most events – will likely be intolerant as there will be a lot of pressure on them.
In this era of plastic money, it is the promoter’s hope that EcoCash and POS machines network does not die on them tonight as most people will likely buy tickets using those platforms.
In an interview yesterday, event promoters seemed very worried as ticket sales have not been encouraging. According to 2 Kings boss, Tich Mharadze, the uptake of advance tickets has generally been low. The cheapest ticket has been pegged at $20 with the most expensive at $100.
It is not clear if this has been caused by the pricing which seems to be a bit too steep or if people are sticking to their general culture of preferring to buy tickets under pressure at the venue on the day of the show.
Some, who may want to attend the show just to see Davido in action may also be waiting to get confirmation that the artiste has indeed arrived in the country so that they buy their tickets after having been duped by some promoters who made people but tickets to shows whose headline artistes never attended.
However, corporates are said to be supporting Jah Prayzah as they are buying table tickets pegged at $1 000 for 10 people.
“We need at least 2 000 paying people to attend the show so that we balance our books as Davido charged us up $90 000. As of Wednesday, the tickets were not really moving though the VIP tables costing $1 000 were selling well,” he said.
Asked if they would consider reducing the ticket prices to about $10 from $20 for general entry, Mharadze said:
“There’s no way we’ll be reviewing the ticket pricing because of the liquidity crunch. If we charge less, it really won’t make business sense.”
He said they were considering reducing security as a way of cutting costs.
Davido who was last in the country two years ago, if all goes according to plan, will be bringing his band to help Jah Prayzah – an artiste he recently collaborated with on track My Lilly – launch his album. The Chronicle