Event organisers and music promoters in Rwanda will have to rethink their strategies and planning skills, if two major events that were scheduled over the weekend in Kigali are anything to go by.
Less than 50 people showed up for Nigerian 2face Idibia’s concert at Kigali Serena Hotel on Friday.
The RnB and afrobeat superstar had been brought in by Belinda Umurerwa, under her events company, Kigali Entertainment Promoters, but what happened on the day left behind many lessons for show organisers.
All was not well as the organisers failed to convince people to attend the show, which many attributed to poor timing and planning.
The much-talked about show was the second show in town for the African Queen singer since 2006.
The concert, which was supposed to start at 6pm, started at 10p.m with almost an empty venue to welcome the singer.
By that time, only journalists could be seen taking pictures of empty seats while the emcee of the night, MC Tino, would tell the DJ to play the music as they await people to come in.
A few invited guests and friends of the organisers were scattered in the big marquee.
After realising that there were no more revellers coming for the show, MC Tino decided to call local artiste Jack-B on stage.
The struggling singer was not even on the list of performers. He performed three songs and left with a few people unsatisfied.
In between, the DJ could take some ten minutes or so playing music while the emcee tried hard to engage the disappointed fans, reminding them that 2Face is in the house.
After a few minutes, Tino invited Gilbert ‘Guitar’ Gabiro, a Tusker Project Fame contestant, who he had seen in the crowd. Gabiro didn’t hesitate to come on stage and also performed three songs.
Initially, Tom Close and 2016 Primus Guma Guma Super Star winners Urban Boys, were the local headline acts of the show but they pulled out at the last minute after the main organiser reportedly failed to meet her commitments.
At around 11:30p.m, ‘The African Queen’ star took to the stage after long hours of negotiation between his management team and the organisers on whether he should perform or not.
Clearly, the singer’s management team was not impressed.
Eventually, 2baba, as he calls himself now, came on stage. The singer took time off to apologise to the crowd.
“Hello Kigali. I know you’re very few but we don’t want to talk about whatever happened. I am going to do a unique show for you who managed to come,” he told the fans. He also shook hands with every person who turned up for the show.
The Nigerian star performed less than five songs including True love, If love is a crime, Blind, and The African Queen before his manager gave him a gesture to quit the stage.
One could say the show totally flopped, and the blame would be put on the organisers who never advertised the show, among other mistakes.
“I think the timing of the show was not good. 23rd is not a good date because most people are yet to get their salaries. For a show to succeed, you have to put it at the end of the month or at beginning when people have money,” said Gilbert Dukuze, a music enthusiast.
Dukuze also pointed out that 2face coming a week right after a mega concert in town, by Sauti Sol, was a major undoing, especially considering that some music lovers think that the Nigerian artiste’s best days are behind him.
Efforts to get a comment from Umurerwa were futile by press time.
In the meantime, Sandra Teta of Miss Tee Creations postponed the All Red Party, which was scheduled for Saturday due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
The cancellation was also linked to anticipated poor turn-up.
Organisers say the event will now take place this coming Saturday at Ubumwe Grand Hotel.