Something is not adding up. Either the problem is in the mediocrity that is our entertainment industry that the so-called ‘big names’ play games with us or there is something professionally wrong with South African artists.
Last time in April we were told by Platinum Entertainment and the Entertainers Promotions that they had invited the renowned South African Kwaito/House star Oskido, real name Oscar Mdlongwa.
He was scheduled to perform at Wakawaka Hotel in Lilongwe on May 4 and later follow up with a Blantyre show at Country Club in Limbe on May 11.
First they announced the postponement of the Lilongwe show but promised come rain or sunshine Oskido will perform in Limbe.
Come the day when patrons had parted ways with their hard-earned K3,000s to sample the famous hits Tsa Mandebele and Y’Tjujutja (Waichukucha) at Country Club, they were told the artist missed his flight and will, therefore, not make it.
The organisers said they had already paid him all what he had demanded in order for him to come and perform in Malawi and they had to give back to the patrons the money they had paid as entry fees.
The world being a small village these days with the internet, it was clear to establish if indeed Oskido had missed his flight or was playing games. And, good heavens! The dude had another show in Soweto at Dreamers Celebrations alongside Professor and Uhuru, some big names in South Africa who he has collaborated with on some projects.
Locally, there also used to be some gospel and secular artists who used to collect money from organisers while knowing they have other scheduled shows on the same day some 500 kilometres away.
Now this Oskido guy is not just a toddler in the profession and considering that he was named one of the Top 10 Kwaito legends of all time by MTV Base in 2009, you would expect him to be professional.
I don’t want to be tempted to doubt his professionalism by looking at his beginnings because it might not be fair.
But wait a minute; this is a guy who started his career from outside Club Razzmatazz in Hillbrow where he was selling roasted sausages having left Zimbabwe, his father’s home country, for South Africa the home of his mother where he was born.
It was in the early 1990s when late at night he would sneak into the club to have a dance and ended up being fascinated by deejaying. Occasionally he used to take over the mic when DJs were taking a breather.
As the story goes, one day the club’s resident DJ didn’t pitch up and, as fate would have it, Oskido was approached to provide relief and he has never looked back.
Honestly, a disciplined performer would not take people for granted if he seriously wants to advance professionally. Perhaps he thinks he is advanced professionally already?
Imagine, organisers at the previous event were crestfallen and even refused to go ahead with the show with the local acts that included King Chambiecco, Gwamba, Nessnes, Black Jak, Skeffa Chimoto and Real Sounds Band.
Now Wakawaka Hotel has taken over the initiative and says they have already spent K5 million to bring the artist into the country. The next date is June 29.
My prayer is that come the day, the most sought-after dude should not fail to turn up again, should not miss his flight again.
Perhaps the solace would be in the fact that another South African artist, Big Nuz, also missed his flight last year but he later turned up for the Wakawaka show.
But in the event that Oskido misses his flight again, please organisers shed off the mediocrity displayed last May. This time sue for breach of contract.
Or there is no contractual agreements in these deals?