By Bongani Ndlovu
It was not giving back to the community after all. The scaling down of Kalawa Homecoming Party from a huge party at Queens Sports Club to a small revelry at Cosmopolitan Night Club has disappointed many fans.
This downsizing shows that the sentiments by the brains behind the annual show Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa last year that he did it for the community was not the case.
Last year, when musician Nkululeko “Khuliyo” Nkala was arrested for spreading rumours that there were black market tickets in circulation for the Kalawa Homecoming Party, something interesting was said by its supremo, Oskido.
Filmed at the Bulawayo Central Police Station with Khuliyo in custody, Oskido angrily said: “Do you know how much money we put in this gig? We don’t even make money. We’re trying to uplift local people, yet you mess up the show.”
The show’s person Vusumuzi Siqalaba at that time added: “It’s not about making money but for Oskido, it’s about giving back to the community he loves. He wants people to have something to look forward to each year.”
However, this year Siqalaba has changed his tune. “It’s the prerogative or discernment of the sponsor whether to increase or reduce the amount of money he pours into a project.”
The prevailing economic challenges that Zimbabwe is facing has made it hard for any show organiser to come up with a great package for fans. A myriad of problems will bedevil any show promoter no matter how deep their pockets are if they want to gain profit afterwards.
No wonder 3D Events are not doing anything at the end of the year as they had declared before that they will not be any shows at Hartsfield Tshisanyama.
“Most of the payments needed especially for S A acts require to be in foreign currency and where does one get it. More over what gate charge becomes fair to the people versus your budget. The other question is do people have the money,” he said.
However, these are people who are in the business of making money off hosting shows at their venues.
They cannot be compared to Kalawa Homecoming that labelled itself as being people who are doing the show for charity to bring locals quality entertainment from their favourite Mzansi stars with a sprinkling of Zimbabwe’s finest.
So for someone giving back to the community and wanting nothing off it, this is the opportune time to give people what they saved the whole year for at a nominal fee.
It is only fair that a “donor” like Oskido and his stable Kalawa Jazmee bring to Zimbabwe no matter the cost, as this is as in his words giving back to the community.
In such instances a donor is evergreen, always ready to pour funds into the impoverished community. This is because their economic hardships do not affect donors.
This basically means that the entertainment impoverished Zimbabwean living in Bulawayo was going to get a slice of the very best of Mzansi entertainment right at their doorstep.
It is interesting to note that the homecoming party was birthed after the Woza 2012 that featured some artistes from the stable. Perhaps Oskido and crew realised the amount of money they were missing out on by giving everything to Delta Beverages.
During that time the United States dollar and rand were in full circulation in the country, there were no headaches of bond notes, EcoCash and transfers. It was straight green back pouring into their coffers.
From the gate takings they were raking in thousands in United States dollars cash. And that money has been shipped out of the country for years, until this one where they have downsized. Also the money from alcohol sales was pouring into the Kalawa coffers.
But this year it is a different case, all that forex is gone, they cannot get hold of it as it would have been locked up in RTGS and EcoCash or in bond notes.
In essence there was no Kalawa Homecoming this year.
Kalawa Homecoming is a big stage, two huge tents for VIP and VVIP, thousands of people thronging the venue to enjoy themselves. It brings the city to a standstill literally. It’s the city’s one last hurrah, before signing off the year and entering the next one.
People have to remember how they had fun pre-Kalawa Homecoming Party! Sunday News.