The Good The Bad & The Ugly – The Charly Black fiasco….
The Jamaican popular artiste Charly Black made his way to South Africa for the first time to perform two dates in Cape Town and Johannesburg, before heading to Zimbabwe to round off his Party Animal Africa Tour. It would be very interesting to hear what he has to say about his first trip to South Africa as it would give an interesting point of view, considering that the two events were marred by violence and organisational (or lack of) issues. Reports emerged after the Johannesburg show of violence, patrons throwing bottles at the stage, and the H-Metro, Zimbabwe’s Newspaper, went as far as headlining it: Chaos, Dogs Jozi Dancehall Gig. What really transpired can be seen from three different point of views, that is : The Fans, The Promoters The Artistes…..
Ironically the Fans perspective is the most important and the loudest one. It is the one that headlined the post event and overshadowed the special guest. The fans takes on the good mantle because they ultimately made their voices heard for the right reasons albeit with politically incorrect methods. Violence is an absolute No no, (it was not that bad, if the show still went on and no reported bodily harm done) but the incident left a sour taste for the whole event. The patrons at Shikisha in Newtown, were displaying their displeasure of having to wait on end for the show to begin. By two o’clock in the morning, the star of the show had not made an appearance, he only got on stage at about 3am. It did not help matters when the music stopped playing because of some technicalities, and it went on and off, and therefore people got more agitated. The tendency of events starting late has been slowly becoming a norm. Either patrons are deliberately made to wait, while the cash bar fills up; or wait for the venue to fill up. People go to these events late because they know its not going to start on time anyways, and so it goes. Something had to happen for this cycle to end, and Charly Black found himself at the right place at the wrong time. Promoters got to check themselves, this is a broader problem and not specific to this event. As the same thing happened the following day at the Pretoria farewell gig. But then this does not explain the bottle throwing in Cape Town? The Dancehall massive had their say. Next time they should just hit where it matters most, at the pocket. Promoters take note.
You know its bad when the one of the organisers had to post the behind the scenes gory details of who said what and who did what and what happen at the hotel (later to be deleted, but not before we got wind of it). It also did not help matters that the main sponsors and promoters of this event are based in the UK and basically remote controlling the logistics and organastion. You also know its bad when impromptu flyers of pre-party and after-party appearance of the main act come out weeks before the main event, that its a free for all type of set up. It was bad, but provided a learning curve for the promoters, though at a heavy price. It is also sad that the music and the acts were overlooked, because Charly Black did perform at both shows and wine up the local dancehall vixens. No one is complaining about his performance, nor raving about it either. What of the supporting acts; Seh Calaz and Souljah Love; and the opening acts Korianda, Momo Dread, Codread, Goba, Korianda, Mazhambe and Drum Dada? That an opportunity was lost to introduce the Mzansi Massive to Zim Dancehall heavy weights through a popular Jamrock artiste, is unfortunate indeed.
The ugly narrative that is being spewed out about Zim Dancehall Massive and Zim Dancehall in general. In one single brush stroke they are being painted as hooligans. Some deep seated issues came to the fore. Its ugly that the schism that already exist amongst brothers and sisters in South Africa’s Reggae Dancehall scene is broadening, and is being cemented by these kind of unfortunate turn of events. Truth be told, this kind of incident is not common at all events hosted and attended by the Zim massive, and there have been many, to now claim it to be a Zim thing, (or perhaps it is?) is a bit exaggerated.
and Charly Black?
He did what he came here to do, filled both Cape Town and Johannesburg venues to capacity, rocked the crowd, touch down motherland! Next Stop ZimBaBwe.