Thursday, November 30, 2006

TZ v/s Kenya: Y International Artists Going Across the Border

Nowadays, it has become customary for the rave loving concert goers to travel kilometres by road or fly to Tanzania for a concert. First it was Mya, then Akon - the dark star from Senegal. At that time EATV made sure everyone knew ‘Akoni anakuja hapa Taannzania…’ out went Akon, in came Ashanti, Ja Rule, Loon, 112 (even though they cancelled) Beyonce, Rihanna (Rumoured), Ne-Yo (another big and juicy rumour), Jay Z and this month, possibly 50 Cent and his Gorilla Unit. What may I ask is the problem with Kenya, what does TZ have that we don’t have? All Kenya does is to get the leftovers from TZ like in the case of Ja Rule and possibly 50 Cent.

So what ails Kenya’s music concert business? It’s not one reason, but a myriad of factors. Here are those that I think have played a major role in our recession:

  1. Death of Entertainment Entrepreneurs: There are few or little Kenyan investors who can pride themselves in hosting a major A-Class performer. Those investors have had their fingers burnt once, due to losses made from concerts or exorbitant fees asked by the “A-Class musician” are not willing to spend huge amounts of cheddar running into millions of Kenyan shillings to host an international artist.
  2. High Risk Business: Say maybe you have passed the first obstacle and the investor is willing to dish out the money to pay the international artist. The next thing is to contact the international artist. The contact process is bureaucratic and the payments are made upfront, if the investor is a sceptic, I doubt he/she will wire millions of Kenyan shillings to pay for a deposit (in dollars) to secure the deal with the international artist, months before they make an appearance. At certain times the artist might even refuse to tour Africa (travel advisories are a b***h), where does that leave the investor who has already incurred promotion costs? In the dumps of course! Remember the time 112 cancelled on TZ?
  3. Why Party When You Can Drink: TZ, unlike Kenya hii, hii yetu, is a raving nation not a drinking one. Tzadians know how to have fun. They pay top Dollar for concerts, and they buy original music, unlike Kenya. As a nation, we don’t have a leisure time or ‘siesta’ culture. We simply do not rave for the sheer fun of raving. Damn, we don’t even dress up for a night out! What tickles our fancy enough to make us go out in droves are the BOGO nights offers (Buy One Get One beer free)...
To read the complete story, cop the December issue of The Insyder at a retail outlet near you....or CLICK HERE

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