Sunbird Hotels are known for theirhospitality business. They have also put in place facilities that are used forleisure purposes; an extension of trying to add value to this hospitalityservice. The reason such facilities are put in place is to help residents whilethe hours away while staying at the place. Entertainment of other magnitudesthough gives room for other non-residential patronage.
Not that it is only sunbird that is in thehospitality business, no, several are, but my interest today is to talk aboutSunbird Hotels. The talk is also not for all of their hotels, but just one of themwhich is in Mzuzu, rightly called Sunbird Mzuzu Hotel.
The Mzuzu Sun Bird Hotel has a number ofhall-like facilities that are used for conferences as well as entertainmentevents. Unlike other hotels they have a place called Boma Park where there is astage where performers use to display their art; the place has also somechalets that sell fast foods as well as alcoholic drinks and minerals.
This, I mean the stage and the food plusthe drinks, do mix well when there is a musical band performing.
All musical names of value in the countryhave performed at the Boma Park Stage at one point or the other.
In fact, no one can separate music from theMzuzu Sunbird Hotel. Their lounges and corridors are sometimes filled with softmusic that seem to be emitting from the walls and the ceiling.
Every Fridays Mzuzu Sunbird Hotel alsoconducts a nightlong disco show at its spacious Choma Bar which is becoming aFriday ritual for Mzuzu revellers. The reason the occasion has become so famousin the city is because of the quality of music that becomes part of the disconight. After all what is a disco night that is devoid of music, anyway.
At this place the Hotel has also abortivelytried their hands on a resident band arrangement.
Now, if you look at how Mzuzu Sunbird Hotelattaches importance to music, you would expect them to act like such musicpromoters that they are supposed to be, more so when you look at how music alsohelps them to make business. But developments on the ground suggests to thecontrary.
First, it was an exorbitant price tag thatthe hotel stuck to the Mzuzu Sunbird Hotel Boma Park, where musicians had tospend a fortune in order to perform there, thereby acting as a restriction toour musicians who utmost struggle to put their act together.
Apparently, those that enter such anexpensive deal to perform at the Park are also given specific period when theycan stage their show.
While all this is happening, the Hotel isalso busy selling beverages and fast food and they also have their man at theentrance to see to it that the money that would be claimed to have been made isindeed what had been declared so that their cut is exactly within the agreedpercentage.
Let me look at the two recently and closelyfollowing musical shows that have taken place at the park and the lessons Ithink the management of the hotel should learn as a result.
First was the Black Missionaries Band whichwas supposed to perform between 13 hours and 17 hours. When time to drop thecurtains was nearing, an official from the Hotel was seen ascending the stageand whispered in the ear of Anjiru who was in the thick of things, telling himthat time was up and they needed to decrease the watts to Zero.
The Blacks, however, read the feelings ofthe patrons and they could not just switch off and go so they started takingtheir patrons down to a level that they could easily declare the show wasindeed over. Eventually when they were leaving the stage dusk had engulfed thecity.
After the Blacks then came Lucius Banda.When Lulu, who has become part of Lucius’s act, took to the stage, after only asong or two, the unimaginable happened because this time round the hotel managementdid not even bother to give a warning but they just decided to pull out theplug from the sockets.
In this case, they created two scenarios;the obvious one was when unsatisfied patron descended on band members, otherseven on Lulu and demanded their money back, mind you it was K700 per head.
It had taken the security team to protectthe members from the angry patrons who threatened to break the equipment orworse still the hotel property, which could have been the other second worstcase scenario.
Such inhospitable conduct was completelyamateurish from management of the Mzuzu Sunbird Hotel; it was uncalled for asit destroyed the spirit of music which builds peace and happiness not unrestand anger.