By Sean Tembo – PeP President
1. The proposed adjustment in the performance date by the Koffi Olomide promoters from Saturday, 27th May 2023 to Friday, 26th May 2023 actually does not help, but further undermines the Yo-Maps “Fill Heroes Stadium” show which is slated for Saturday, 27th May 2023. That is because we are told that the Koffi Show is an evening one, and knowing evening shows, the headliner will only begin to play around midnight, and revelers will be up until the early hours of Saturday.
2. On the other hand, we are told that the Yo-Maps show is a day event, probably starting around mid-day on Saturday. Therefore, the chances that a reveler who only went home in the early hours of Saturday, will wake up in time to attend another show at Heroes around mid-day, are very slim. That means the possible success of Yo-Maps “Fill Heroes Stadium” show will be greatly undermined by Koffi’s show.
3. Personally, l am a big fan of Koffi and if this issue was entirely about music, l would have chosen to attend Koffi’s show. But this issue is not entirely about music. It is about patriotism. It is about Zambia creating an artist that we can sell to our neighboring countries, to Africa and to the world at large. As a nation, we have produced many good musicians, but none has made a dent on the international scene.
4. As things stand today, Yo-Maps is the only one who has the greatest chance of putting Zambia on the world map in terms of music. And his “Fill Heroes Stadium” show will be a litmus test of whether the region, Africa and the world at large will take him seriously as an international artist or not. If the show succeeds and Heroes Stadium is full to the brim, then Zambia will be on her way to creating an internationally recognized artist. If the show fails, then Yo-Maps will just add to the list of several other good Zambian musicians who had great potential but never really penetrated the world scene.
5. My considered view is that we all need to support Yo-Maps “Fill Heroes Stadium” show with as much zeal and passion as we support Chipolopolo. Because that show is bigger than Yo-Maps. It is about Zambia claiming a spot on the musical scene of the region and of the world at large. Speaking of which; where is the Ministry of Youth, Arts and Sports? More specifically, where is Pilato, the newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, whom for decades made a living performing shows, and knows the intricacies of making a show a success?
6. Yo-Maps first announced his “Fill Heroes Stadium” show sometime late last year, and the Ministry officials at the time claimed that they will support the initiative. But why did the same Ministry issue a permit to a major international artist of Koffi Olomide’s stature to perform, not just on the same weekend, but on the same day as the Yo-Maps “Fill Heroes Stadium” show? What kind of support is that? Lusaka might have more than 3 million residents, but the people who attend these shows are pretty much the same. Of course those below 25 years are unlikely to be interested in a Koffi show, just like those above 55 years are unlikely to be interested in a Yo-Maps show. But those who are between 25 and 55 years, who happen to be the majority and who also happen to have the biggest purchasing power, will be torn between the two shows.
7. It must be remembered that if the “Fill Heroes Stadium” show succeeds and Yo-Maps proceeds to become a major international artist, then Zambia as a nation will benefit immensely too. When Yo-Maps is hired to perform in other countries, and is paid dollars, he will be bringing those dollars back home and helping to strengthen our Kwacha as well as prop up our balance of payments (bop) position.
8. Therefore, the Ministry of Youth, Arts and Sports must consider withdrawing the permit issued to Koffi Olomide, so that he should only be allowed to perform after the Yo-Maps show and not before. The other thing about these shows is that there is usually financial fatigue that arises, given that it’s pretty much the same people that attend. Therefore even if the Koffi show was moved two weeks earlier, it will still undermine the Yo-Maps “Fill Heroes Stadium” show, because of financial fatigue.
9. Lastly, l am confident that the “Fill Heroes Stadium” show will succeed. However, some bit of advice to the show organizers. Firstly l feel the pricing needs to be reconsidered. K50 as the cheapest ticket is on the high side in this economy, if you intend to attract more than 50,000 revelers who are mostly jobless youngsters. K30 would have been more appropriate. Also remember that your catchment area for the cheapest tickets is not necessarily the entire Lusaka due to the challenge of transport logistics. The catchment area is largely those high density areas surrounding Heroes Stadium where revelers can walk on foot to the venue. Therefore you are largely talking about Matero, Zingalume, George, Chaisa, Mandevu, Chipata Compound, Marapodi etcetera. Hence the need to focus on volumes and not profits. You are better off filling up Heroes Stadium to the brim, and making K2m profit, than having the stadium half empty and making K5m profit. The benefits of being able to fill Heroes Stadium are many and are in future.
10. Secondly, l feel the K500 for VVIP tickets is too low. VVIP is supposed to be exclusive and you are not supposed to have more than 100 tickets in this category. VVIP ticket holders need to have exclusive parking with extra security and protocol officers ushering them to their seats. Not ati VVIP but you are stepping on each other’s feet. Therefore, a price tag of about K2,000 would be more appropriate for VVIP tickets, so that only those who really need exclusivity will buy them. Otherwise l wish Yo-Maps and his team all the best. My wife and l will definitely be there to support you.
Kalemba April 17, 2023