By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK The highly billed Healing Song Concert, which featured some of South Africa and Namibia’s finest musicians, miserably failed to live up to expectations over the weekend, a show that turned out to be a huge flop. To begin with, the show which was supposed to start at 15h00 only started five hours later and the merry mood that engulfed the Independence Stadium soon dampened as the highly acclaimed foreign artists only showed up on stage in the early hours of Sunday morning. Even the diplomatic society and high-level dignitaries, including former Prime Minister Hage Geingob and some notable chief executive officers could not endure the wait and all left without a glimpse of either Malaika or Ringo Madlengozi. What could have been a show of epic proportions rather took off to a disappointing pedal with numerous local groups failing to warm up the few hundred people who paid the N$100 admission fee. It was only around 22h00 that The Matongo Family put a smile on the fans’ faces when they teamed up with Big Ben on stage. Perhaps, the only magical moment from the local troupes was when eccentric Sunny Boy took to the stage and without doubt, balanced the earlier hiccups. With Gazza coming up after, Mshasho’s finest, the fans were already overdosed with the same Kwaito beat that had been in store from 20h00.The worst part of the show was when Gal Level were forced out of stage “to pave way for the foreign groups”. There was drama backstage as Gal Level manager Sula exchanged harsh words with the organisers. Furthermore the poor sound quality marred Gal Level’s performance and on top of it they were restricted to perform only three songs. Apart from the backdrop, beer was fetching double the price and were it not for the prowess of seasoned presenter Chrizo, whose charming touch kept the fans alive, the show would have been mistaken for a memorial service by any passer-by. Then sauntered in Ringo Madlengozi on stage past midnight. In a loose-fitting white two-piece, a Xhosa traditional headband, Ringo had the crowd eating out of his hand. The man’s unique vocal talent and appreciation of love sent some revellers into tears as he belted Buyisa. Despite playing for less than an hour, Ringo made the fans feel their hundred dollars’ worth. The Xhosa Balladeer convinced the crowd of the sheer talent in him, when he sang, Into Yami (What is Mine). His trademark ingredients for the night were the muscularity, the full-bodied vocals, an undeniable exuberance, and an infectious and irresistible beat. By the time Sondela was unleashed on stage the crowd had forgotten all the ills of the night. Some could be seen clutching their loved ones, some swallowing the man’s captivating voice in love lyrics. Flanked by his backing girls, Ringo’s voice reverberated in the Independence Stadium. Unfortunately, the organizers had not foreseen the gap between Ringo’s performance and Bongo Maffin who needed an hour’s delay to be transported from their hotel. The stage-work was marvelous for all the foreign and local artists, but it was the organization that left a lot to be desired. Bongo Maffin with Thandiswa Mazwai wasted no time with Mari yePepa and Kana Yasvika Bongo. Then came what the crowd had been waiting for – Malaika. It was like a restart of the show. Malaika’s dancing girls in their colorful outfits, wooed many with their gyrations. There were lots of screams when the group, playing with a live band dropped hit song, Sibakanyana. However, Malaika only performed three songs as a group, when the unexpected happened. “We have been ordered to close the show because this is a residential area and we are making noise,” said Jabulani Ndaba. The show was organised by EC Promotions and Tshukudu Entertainment.
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