Come correct or stay the heck home – a note to African artists


Nothing worse than going to a concert of a renowned, well-anticipated artist but only to have him lip-sync. Or better yet, having a sold out show cancelled last minute because the artist did not get his act together. And my all time favourite, artists who leave the audience waiting THREE HOURS simply because they prefer to take their sweet time before even leaving their hotel for the concert venue.

That is the nonsense I’ve come across in the past three months in Edmonton. African artists have dampened event promoters’ enthusiasm to bring African artists to Edmonton (and other cities in Western Canada). Event promoters’ efforts have been met with a harsh slap in the face – that I’m sure has left some imprint and a mental “note to self: don’t do business with Timaya”.

Timaya. Awilo Longomba. Flavour N’abania. It’s unfortunate these artists don’t care much about being professional, building their brand or managing reputation. They don’t seem to care about the implications of their actions.

The No Show – Timaya

Like many fans in Edmonton, I was stoked when I found out Timaya was coming to town. I was even more excited to learn that tickets were sold for both Edmonton and Calgary. So you can imagine my disappointment when I heard – THE DAY BEFORE THE CONCERT – that the show was cancelled.  The reason: Immigration/Visa issues. The gist: Timaya refused to go forward with the concert because some of his entourage were not able to get travel visa for Canada.

The bad performer – Awilo Longomba

I’ve been listening to Awilo for as long as I can remember. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love jamming up to Karolina. Heck, I once danced to his Gate Le Coin in front of 500 guests.  Both songs – and many more – are top hits at parties and events. But when he came to Edmonton in April 2012, the show wasn’t such a hit. His lip-syncing left fans feeling disappointed and unsatisfied. It made me stop feeling bad that I wasn’t able to go to the concert in the first place.

The Diva – Flavour N’abania

One thing that frustrates me about African events is the so-called “African time”.  I’m understanding and forgiving when someone or things are running a little late. But it’s totally unacceptable when an artist I’ve paid a good amount of money for keeps me waiting for three hours. And what did Flavour have to say: “I didn’t know a Nigerian was involved in planning this event”. That’s apparently what he said when someone went to his hotel to find out what was taking him so long. I’m glad I was out of town for the show.

As a fan of those artists, I’m fed up, very disappointed – and I definitely won’t be wasting money on them in the future. The actions above, especially regarding Timaya and Flavour, tell me that they:

  • Are unprofessional
  • Have no respect for their fans or the people they do business with
  • Don’t care about their reputation or how their behaviour impact their career
  • Don’t care if they jeopardize future opportunities

It’s one thing to lip-synch, but showing up late or not all to gigs when hundreds of people are waiting – without a clue of what to expect– is just bad customer service. In the Timaya’s case, the event promoters had to refund ticket holders. Other than the fans, his no show also left a bad taste in other people’s mouth including the event promoters and clients at the venue. Business is about building and maintaining relationships. Behaviours like this ruin customer loyalty, impact the artists AND event promoters.

 “He who burns his bridges better be a damn good swimmer.” ~ Unknown

~ by omonaij on May 20, 2012.

One Response to “Come correct or stay the heck home – a note to African artists”

  1. […] any other kind of business, sometimes their efforts don’t pay off since some African artists are impossible to deal with, but they never give up. The entertainment and nightlight activities in Edmonton should reflect the […]

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