Sibongile Mafu

Rihanna is gouda

2013-10-18 08:05

Sibongile Mafu

“I love you Cape Town!” The biggest pop star on the earth, Rihanna screamed throughout her Wednesday night Diamonds World Tour performance at Cape Town Stadium night as 40 000 people of all ages roared in delight. It was as if this was the affirmation the Mother City had been waiting for all this time. Screw all the Table Mountain accolades and “most beautiful African city” awards Cape Town usually cleans up in, Rihanna loves us, and that’s all that matters.

She could have said anything really and there would have been a thunderous response, and that sums her up: a package that people respond to.  

I’d bought my golden circle ticket and had been waiting anxiously for months to see a walking, talking, “singing” Billboard Singles Chart in the flesh. I went to Lady Gaga last year, which was phenomenal, and decided to go to Rihanna this year. One thing I do recommend in life is seeing the biggest music phenomenons of that time performing when they are at their peak. From Gaga to Beyonce to Justin Bieber and Rihanna, just go on and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Now I’d read all the Jo’burg reviews which were mixed, from people commenting on the poor sound to her lip-synching, and I’ve been to enough gospel shows in Port Elizabeth to know that lip synching is unnecessary and can be done away with, but for a stadium show to run smoothly it may be unavoidable. Rihanna did sing many of her songs live which was appreciated, and she’d clearly been putting in work over the last few years to improve her live performances.

Besides the pushing and shoving and my hair smelling like Castle lager beer due to an altercation with a woman who was determined to move to the front of a full Golden Circle, beer be damned, I was really only disappointed by the lack of creativity in the show. It was a satisfying show, but for a woman who has all the resources to put together a memorable concert, she really played it quite safe. It was appetizing enough, but predictable. It was Gouda. Rihanna is Gouda.

Gouda is the iconic Dutch yellow cheese that pretty much everyone has in their fridge because you can always can rely on it to deliver a satisfactory result. It doesn’t surprise you or show you anything new but it leaves you content. Rihanna’s music, packaged to within an inch of its life, is playing on most popular music radio stations around the world. She’s touring most countries and performing lclose to sold out shows. She is in every fridge.

You know exactly what gouda will taste like, your kids enjoy it, and the adults in the house don’ mind it. It’s just there. And Rihanna’s concert was just there. Here dancers and band worked ferociously around her, lifting the sandwich to acceptable entertaining levels.

The Navy, which is what Rihanna’s die-hard fan base calls themselves were left in awe of her, because there are those people who really, really like gouda. And they have 5kg of it in the freezer at all times even though they live alone. But for those who have only the amount they need in their fridge, it was a show that they’ll quickly move on from with very few highlights to brag to colleagues and their Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal mates about.

And this gem of a question from a Twitter follower: “When is she camembert to SA?” I’m not holding my breath in excitement.

- Sibongile is a videographer, blogger and social media enthusiast who would be nothing without her thumbs. Follow her on Twitter: @SboshMafu.

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