Tuku takes fans for granted?

oliver mtukudziBrenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
Music legend Oliver Mtukudzi and his Black Spirits band pulled a shocker over the weekend when they arrived at their Misty’s show over two hours late. The show that had been slated for 8pm saw the band only hitting the stage after 10pm.

This was despite that all the 18 tables in the small venue had been filled by 8pm. Surprisingly, an upcoming band, African Destiny, took to the stage and spent what seemed like the longest two hours ever.

“Which band is this now? I paid my money to see Tuku (Mtukudzi) perform and now this?” said an agitated patron. Without explanation or apology, Tuku eventually broke into song after his four-member band finished setting up in the full glare of the audience.

However, the band made it up by putting up a splendid two-hour performance. Just like single malt whisky, Tuku’s artistry was consistent and fine. While the show was up to scratch it was disappointing that there seemed to be no regard for the fans’ lost time considering the pricey $25 cover charge. It was higher than the Harare International Festival of Arts’ closing act by Salif Keita. It was also 110 percent more than what the club normally charges, but well people gladly pay to see the legend in action.

“Oh, we were coming from a private function in Gweru, simple as that. Usually we go on stage at around 11pm,” said band manager and drummer Sam Mataure.

The manager’s response was clear they saw nothing wrong with making the audience wait for more than two hours for their act. Rather, the cheerful chap indicated that fans usually wait for longer.

“Promoters are in the habit of writing whichever times that suit them. At times our shows are said to start as early as 7.30pm but we always perform (around 11). That is why we encourage that there be a supporting band as was the case at Misty’s,” he said.

Contrary to what Mataure said, the band does stick to stipulated schedules when performing outside the country. This reporter actually missed their Cape Town show in December last year after arriving at the venue an hour late.

Sadly, The Misty’s incident is nothing new in the local arts sector. Attending most live shows is an experience but some fans can attest that it has always been a great source of frustration. Save for Hifa performances, one needs to bring along some patience when attending some shows as artistes are notorious for keeping fans waiting. Others do not even show up at times! Could it be that there is indeed no hurry in Africa?