Madiba trib­ute gigs a big flop

Gala din­ner and con­cert 'dis­or­gan­ised'

Sunday World - - News - SO­MAYA STOCKENSTROOM

THE fes­tiv­i­ties ded­i­cated to ail­ing for­mer states­man Nel­son Man­dela last week­end have been de­scribed as hap­haz­ard and dis­or­gan­ised by those who took part.

Last Fri­day night, a gala din­ner held to raise funds for the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal raised eye­brows in­stead when it emerged that vet­eran mu­sic cou­ple Cai­phus Se­menya and Letta Mbulu were paid R230 000 for a 15-minute set.

Mbulu told Sun­day World they had been booked for an hour-long set, but “were told that due to the pro­gramme be­ing so full we had to sing for like 15 to 20 min­utes”.

She re­ferred pay­ment queries to their man­ager, Mandla Baloyi, who would not di­vulge how much the cou­ple had been paid.

How­ever, he did take a dig at the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the din­ner. “It was un­pro­fes­sional. Ev­ery­thing was de­layed, with the min­is­ters talk­ing and talk­ing. We strug­gled with the sound sys­tem. But in the end we did it for Madiba.”

The Satur­day night con­cert also failed to im­press; es­pe­cially its star per­former Brandy. The Amer­i­can R&B singer was a last-minute re­place­ment for R. Kelly.

How­ever, the or­gan­is­ers failed to in­form the 52 867 at­ten­dees that there would be a star-stud­ded con­cert that also fea­tured Nige­rian su­per­star D’Banj. Peo­ple left in droves af­ter the rugby game and Brandy per­formed to about 40 peo­ple in­stead of a 90 000 ca­pac­ity crowd.

The em­bar­rass­ing show made in­ter­na­tional news when Hol­ly­wood blog­ger Perez Hil­ton picked up on lo­cal singer Kabomo’s tweets of the singer’s hu­mil­i­a­tion.

Kabomo tweeted: “Brandy per­formed to an empty sta­dium. With the sta­dium lights on. She sulked af­ter two songs and walked off.” Brandy has kept mum on the is­sue.

Vuyo Lut­seke of the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Trust said an an­nounce­ment on how much was raised would be made soon.

Nei­ther the depart­ment of sports nor the depart­ment of arts and cul­ture took re­spon­si­bil­ity. “We will be in touch once we have a full state­ment, ” said Duduzile Nchoba from arts and cul­ture.

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