By Flora Matumba
Zambian celebrated musician General Kanene cancelled his performance in Mzuzu last weekend at the eleventh hour, a situation which has cost his Malawian promoter about K1 million.
The musician was scheduled to perform at Squirrels Park on Saturday as the headline act in a music show dubbed Malawi ‘na’ Zambia.
The line-up also included other Zambian musicians Organized Family, Chimzy Kelly and Zambian comedian Difikoti. Completing the line-up on the Malawian side were Lulu and Nesnes.
But in a statement, Squirrels Park managing director Tobias Keliophas said Kanene cancelled his performance at the eleventh hour despite pocketing K675 000 transport money.
“We were requested to send transport through Western Union and that was done immediately. When Kent [Organized Family] went to pick him up, General Kanene refused to come out of the house.
“When we talked his manager, he told us that Kanene couldn’t come to Malawi because he was afraid of being arrested. He didn’t disclose the reason,” he said.
Keliophas said Kanene’s no-show has cost him over K1 million as he also spent on other services such as advertising, equipment and payments for the other artists.
“Music lovers wanted to see General Kanene as the main act, so we decided to cancel the show altogether rather than apologizing on stage about his absence which could have been unprofessional and disrespectful,” he said.
Kanene was not immediately available for comment.
But Kent, who brokered the deal, said he is engaging the police to get a refund from Kanene.
“We are the ones who got the money from Tobias to pay Kanene and, of course, he [Tobias] is waiting to hear from us. We have already engaged our lawyers and the police to get the money and send it back to Tobias, he said.
Kanene’s performance in Mzuzu could have been the second one since Squirrels Park was opened in 2016. He was the main act when the venue was launched.