Event: Organisers thought 15 000 would come, only 400 did

2008-08-31 00:00

THE Women’s Month concert organised by the former head of the KZN Agriculture Department, Dr Jabulani Mjwara, and sponsored to the tune of R250 000 by the Msunduzi Municipality turned out to be a damp squib.

The municipality gave Ibhubesi Business Enterprises, which Mjwara co-owns with his former secretary in the department, Nontokozo Mathonsi, the money based on their estimate that the concert would attract over 15 000 music fans. The concert was not widely advertised, and after no tickets were purchased through Computicket, the organisers said on Thursday it would be free.

But fewer than 400 people arrived for the event at the Oval in Alexandra Park on Saturday afternoon.

The concert was scheduled to start at 2 pm, but fans waited until after 7 pm for it to begin. Top artists such as L’vovo and Professor and Tizozo had not performed when the Witness reporter left the stadium after 9 pm.

DJ Tira, who is the manager for Durban-based DJ Cindo and Professor and Tizozo, said his artists did arrive. He said they were paid a few days before the concert.

People who attended the concert said they found out about it through flyers in their areas on Friday. Others said they heard about it from their friends.

There was a white marquee with drinks for sale, but no fans were seen buying as they were mostly carrying their own cooler boxes.

Ibhubesi Business Enterprises is owned by the same pair who own Planet Waves, a company which was recently awarded a R11 million Msunduzi tender to dredge the Camps Drift canal.

Opposition parties claimed they were misled and not given full information when Ibhubesi applied for sponsorship, while Evodia Mahlangu, manager in the mayor’s office, said the sponsorship was granted on the basis of the information provided by the company. She said the mayor’s office thought it was a good proposal, and submitted it to the executive committee, which approved the funding.

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