It’s a dog eat dog situation as two Zimbabwean promoters battle to get the biggest audience amongst the few Zimos who reside in Dubai on March 31 when ToDaWo Entertainment brings Judgement Yard and 25 kilometers away, Bodyslam hosts Soul Jah Love.
The development has seen tensions escalating between members of the two organisations on social media.
An investigation by Zimbo Jam revealed that BodySlam had only initially planned a show for March 3 where Killer T will be the headline act and upon realizing that ToDaWo Entertainment had planned a gig featuring Judgement Yard DJ’s on March 31, they went on to organise a counter concert for the day.
Trouble started when a Dubai based Zimbabwean DJ known as Fanta Fire from Blazedem family who was billed to play at the Killer T concert distanced himself from the show through a Facebook post saying he was not part of the event as advertised and on the day he will be playing at his usual venue at Ibis Hotel.
The post did not go down well with the Bodyslam leader Simbarashe Chakare aka Dj Trouble who immediately took to the microblogging site to respond in video saying, “I’m sorry to Fanta Fire. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t reach an agreement. We really needed your support but it was rude for you to say you are not part of this show, but the matter of the story is that the show is going on even if we get 15 people its fine. We know you have got your own crowd but you can’t stop the fun. We are going to do our best to get a maximum crowd. It happens. I just want to say to him, we are the bosses.”
Zimbo Jam is in possession of chat messages between Chakare and Fanta Fire in which the former had a very amicable conversation with the later in an effort to engage him to which he kindly turned down but pledged to support the show underground and pass the word on.
We caught up with Fanta Fire’s manager who dismissed that their disc jockey was ever contractually engaged by Bodyslam to perform at the Killer T show before his name appeared on the poser as the talks had long collapsed when their artist turned the offer down.
In an official response Lorraine Vera of ToDaWo Entertainment said, “We have been doing these shows monthly, however this year we had decided to do them after every two months. We started marketing our show from first week of February and we were shocked to see another poster for a show on the same day”
Vera added that if they had known that there is another show they would have selected a different date because the crowd here is still very small. However, its business as usual and their show will go ahead.
Shephard Willow Papose of Bodyslam refuted the allegations and was adamant that they had long since planned both shows for the same month of March, in sharp contrast to a post by his boss Chakare who is quoted in one Facebook post saying, “We don’t need any competition with anyone and the issue of the 31st March was for a revenge to some bully promoters who are sabotaging our show on the 3rd of March in Dubai. We are all ghetto youth’ but Dubai is no one’s territory. Fire for fire. Something is coming up, Soul Jah Love concert is now sealed and confirmed.”
Bodyslam are on a whirlwind to promote ZimDancehall artists across the globe as part of their Madirirano concept which last year took them to the UK, China and South Africa. Later this year they will be touring Germany.
Several music promoters and enthusiasts have been trying to diffuse the tension and get the two companies to reach a consensus. Observers in the local showbiz have bemoaned such unfair competition by Zimbabwean music promoters which they attribute to the demise and not growth of the industry. Last year the situation turned violent in Pretoria, South Africa as Zimbabwean promoters literary ganged up against each other in the battle for turf.