Penny Penny, who hogged the limelight a decade ago with some di-gong hits that torched excitement locally, was forced to perform in a virtually empty Mucheke hall after fans snubbed him last Sunday.
Only 10 people attended the ill-fated show held at a city hall and organised by promoters, Questatainment together with Masvingo Governor, Titus Maluleke, and several other Zanu (PF) heavies in the province.
Maluleke is said to have entered into a deal, with the former South Africa musical star, that would have seen him donating part of the proceeds from his show towards Zanu (PF) independence festivities but everything went wrong as the fans turned their backs on him.
The Masvingo Governor was, however, forced to fork out some money from his own pocket to to look after the South African musician’s delegation, which numbered over 30 people, after he raised only less than US$30 from the show.
Attempts to lure more people to the poorly organised show by lowering the entrance fee from an original US$5 to about a US$1 were all in vain as the entertainment-hungry residents of Masvingo turned their backs on Penny Penny.
The promoters, conceded they made a mistake by allowing a Zanu (PF) element in the show. They said they made great losses.
“We should not have allowed this…the Governor and his youths scared many fans away…very little beer and tickets were sold. They told others not to come, that was a mistake on our part, we should have disassociated ourselves from the Governor,” said Marvelous Mushaya, the chief music promoter.
He said the Governor ‘hijacked’ the gig saying he speaks the same language-IsiTshangani-with Penny Penny.
But Maluleke said he was ‘just invited’ for the bash.
“I was just invited for the bash. Remember I am also Tshangani. I never hijacked the project. Neither did I order party youths to attend in party regalia. Probably they just took it from me that I was putting on regalia, a day before independence, they should follow suit,” said Maluleke.
The South African musician was forced to abandon a second show which he was pencilled to peform, Monday a public holiday. He also cancelled two other shows slated for Chiredzi and Checheche after failing to access a Public Address system due to lack of funds.
Sources said Penny Penny was miffed by the poor attendence and vowed never to come back to Zimbabwe again.
”He was angry and he only proceeded with the show after Zanu (PF) heavies convinced him that they would fork out some money from their pockets to pay him and save them from embarrassment. He perfomed under protest but one could sense that all was no well with him due to the poor attendence,”said a source close to the promoter Maluleke.
Several people interviewed by Radio VOP blamed the involvement of Zanu (PF) politicians as the reason for boycotting the show while others said they thought Penny Penny was dead.
”How can a serious person bring us Penny Penny, a forgotten musician, who we thought had died a long time ago. More-over they went on to hold the show at Mucheke hall where there is no space. It was poorly organised,”said Luckson Moyo from Majange surburb.
Zanu (PF) heavweights had initially blocked a perfomance by MDC-T legislator and musician, Paul Madzore, who was supposed to perfom at Mucheke Stadium on Independence day eve, in an arbortive bid to attract more people, but the move backfired.
“We thought it was a Zanu (PF) gala, so we left,” said Tsatsavani Chilonga from Chiredzi. “We were intimidated by youth putting on t-shirts with an image of President Mugabe holding up a fist.”
Some of the visibly drunk Zanu (PF) youth could be seen jumping on the stage in a disorderly manner and interrupting the musician. So chaotic was the gig that in no time many people had left.