By Andrew Moyo and Takudzwa Chihambakwe
Last Saturday’s Fally Ipupa gig must have been a big lesson for Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure and his G Entertainment company, and hopefully for many local promoters and artistes as well.
Being one of the most sought-after artistes on the continent right now, at least on the rumba circuit, one might have easily anticipated a packed auditorium for the charmer boy’s concert. It was not the case.
The UEFA final between Real Madrid and Liverpool could have played a part for the slow arrival of patrons, but even when the game ended, nothing changed. Maybe the majority of rumba fans are also Liverpool supporters, who decided not to turn up after their team was gruesomely walloped.
Concert-goers who have attended high-profile gigs at the HICC will confirm that parking is usually a nightmare, but last Saturday there was no sign of any congestion with parking space in abundance long after the show had started.
By midnight, some sections of the auditorium largely remained empty. The upper deck had some life as it was cheaper while the VIP and VVIP areas seemed abandoned, with acres of dancing or even fighting space.
However, as it turned out, many patrons were glad that the auditorium was not packed, citing there was minimal risk of losing their phones and other valuables to thieves, thanks to the freedom of movement.
This was a blessing in disguise for patrons who could buy their beverages at the bars without any hassle.
Meanwhile, the artistes that took to the stage did justice to their inclusion on the line-up. Rising star Bryan K proved why he has lately been getting opportunities to shine on big stages with a polished act that certainly added a few souls to his fan base.
His song arrangements was extraordinary and even when he did a rendition for Leonard Dembo’s classic “Chitekete”, it was evident the youngster is maturing in music. Sadly, he was playing in an empty auditorium.
By the time Diamond Musica came on, numbers had grown and the energy brought by the band turned the heat up a notch. Their set was exhilarating, getting the patrons to flex their muscles on the dance floor as the music set the mood right. The group were having a field day performing both yesteryear hits as well as new material, which was well received by the crowd.
Dr Tuku came next, but his set was average. The vibe left by Diamond Musica’s energetic performance was too electric and Tuku dampened it, which saw some people going back to their seats.
While his performance was not bad, he failed to really grab the attention of rhumba fans who were now in the mood to dance. The legendary artiste had his moments where the crowd applauded his antics and sang along to some of his hits — but that was it.
When the headline act finally arrived, the big stage suddenly became small as the band, dancers, runners and security took their positions. The crowd moved nearer to the stage for a close-up view of the “waistline-management” they were about to witness.
Fally started off on a laid-back note as if to feel the vibe of the crowd but then he started picking up the tempo and the gyrating began, much to the amusement of the ladies who were screaming their lungs out. The superstar’s choreographic skills could not to be disputed on the night, with each song coming with its own well thought out dance routine. The performance was just exceptional, mixing his live instruments with a digital sound that gave his set a different feel to those who performed on the night.
Some of the songs that had fans exploding included “Original”, “Nidja” and “Sexy Dance”, to name just a few. The band even threw on traditional attire when they performed “Eloko Oyo”, a move that was welcomed by fans who have seen the video.
However, there were moments when the music was a bit monotonous. This resulted in some of the patrons walking out before the end of his set.
Juntal came on last and was unlucky as most people walked out just after Fally left the stage. In business terms, the HICC show was a disaster.
The Ginimbi magic failed the test. Fally Ipupa’s presence in Harare failed to reignite locals’ love for rhumba. Hopefully Ginimbi and his team learnt a thing or two about music promotion in Zimbabwe and will be wiser in their forthcoming projects. The Sunday Mail