Two concerts

2008-09-02 00:00

LAST weekend saw two concerts, one in Durban and one in Pietermaritzburg, each designed to mark the end of Women’s Month. Neither attracted anything like the attendance hoped for or expected, but there the similarity seems to end. It is instructive to look at the arrangements for each in more detail.

Only 1 000 of the expected 40 000 turned up for the Wonderful Women Gathering at Durban’s Absa Stadium. That was not the fault of the organisers who had been thorough in their preparations, putting all their cards on the table. They had sought and obtained extensive coverage in the media, they had motivated the MEC for Finance Zweli Mkhize to sponsor the event to the tune of R500 000 and they had gained a line-up of impressive speakers — Archbishop Desmond Tutu (in a recorded message) and acclaimed storyteller Gcina Mhlope, for instance, together with top South African band Freshlyground.

So although the attendance was disappointing, the event was not a failure. The organisers got their message across — that South Africa is a country that needs to be celebrated — and laid a foundation for further growth.

By contrast “failure” is a word that should be applied to the Women’s Month concert organised by Ibhubesi Business Enterprises, co-owned by the former head of the KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture Department Dr Jabulani Mjwara and his erstwhile secretary Nontokhozo Mathonsi. The organisation of the event was shambolic, with no publicity and confusion as to which bands were playing. Scheduled to start at 2 pm, the first act was eventually performed only at 7 pm and by 9 pm no other band had taken the stage. Only 400 people turned up.

What is of concern is that the Msundusi Municipally sponsored the event to the tune of R250 000. Alarm bells should have rung at the start with Ibhubesi’s application for funding on a document without a letterhead and with office contact details written in by hand.

On what criterion is municipal sponsorship granted? At best this event was well-meant but thoroughly unprofessional; at worst it was a shady attempt to raise funds by an organisation that has got other municipal contracts by questionable means. There needs to be far greater scrutiny of similar appeals before ratepayers’ money is doled out.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.