Mr Sushi hooks some big showbiz fish

2010-11-21 07:52

“Sushi King” Kenny Kunene is moving from hosting R700 000- plus parties to throwing mega­concerts.

Kunene, who recently resigned as director of his various companies, and his business partner, Gayton McKenzie, are bringing US hip-hop sensations Nikki Minaj and Drake to South Africa.

“We are already in the entertainment industry with Zar, but we also saw an opportunity in bringing international acts into the country.

“What we do is look for opportunities in business, not only in SA but also neighbouring countries like Lesotho, Namibia, Angola and Botswana. Unlike other promoters, we want to involve those countries and take the entertainment to them as well,” Kunene said.

He had already paid a substantial appearance fee and signed a contract with the artists’ management.
But Minaj this week denied on Twitter that she was coming to South Africa.

Earlier this week, after rumours started of the duo’s concert, Minaj (whose much-anticipated debut album is being released tomorrow) wrote on her Twitter page: “Who’s promoting a South African show I know nothing about? Supposedly in December. Don’t be scammed. I won’t be there.”

This prompted locals to start questioning the claims of Kunene and his partners.

Kunene, however, showed City Press email communications, the contract and proof of payment ­between him and the artists’ ­management.

“We had booked them for the dates of December 16, 17 and 18 – which is a bit short notice, because now we are struggling to find ­venues in Cape Town, Durban and Zimbabwe because of all these ­other artists who are also coming to South Africa in that month,” said Kunene.

“It was really ambitious of us because this concert was booked only three weeks ago.

“So we really don’t want to bring the guys just to Johannesburg and leave out the other places we wanted to take them to.”

Kunene said they had decided to postpone the event until March or April.

“We are now liaising with their agents to see which dates are suitable and also checking which international acts are coming to the country at that time to avoid clashes,” said Kunene.

International music extravaganza

From the happenings to the has-beens, South Africa will be rocking this summer. Over the holidays we can look forward to:

» Slumdog Millionaire music composer AR Rahman on his Jai Ho tour. The tour began on Saturday at the Sun City Superbowl. He will be in Cape Town on Wednesday and then in Durban on Friday.

» Hip-hop queen Eve will be in Botswana on Saturday to perform at the Urban Legends Against Aids concert.

» Busta Rhymes and T-Pain will appear in a joint concert next Sunday at the Durban ICC.

» For those who want to reminisce about the ’80s and ’90s, acts include Duran Duran’s Live in South Africa concert and the ’90s Back 2 Kool concert which will feature Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer and SNAP’s Turbo B. These concerts take place in Durban, Cape Town and on the East Rand between December 4 and 18.
» R&B US crooner Omarion will perform in Durban on December 26 at Enyokeni.

» Hip-hop artist Rick Ross will present the local leg of his Blowing Money Fast Tour on December 29 in Cape Town.

» Dance group Faithless will perform in February in Cape Town and Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

» Grammy Award winner Pharrell and his band, N*E*R*D, will perform on February 11, but the venue has not yet been announced.

» U2 will perform in Johannesburg and Cape Town on February 13 and 18 respectively. Their Cape Town show is sold out.


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