Melissa Mpofu in Harare
The OK Grand Challenge held at the Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare on Saturday was full of mixed emotions.
It brought joy for some while for others it brought sadness after they failed to win the numerous prizes that were on offer.
Several cars and other prizes were up for grabs at the annual shoppers’ event, most of which were won by people from Hatfield and Mbare in Harare with a few lucky ones from Bulawayo and other parts of the country.
As the names of the winners were announced, some celebrated prematurely, only to learn at the verification point that they had misheard as it was not their names which had been called out. One man fell victim to this. He collapsed upon learning that the ultimate prize — a Nissan Navara double cab was not coming his way as the surname that had been called out was not his.
But, these were not the only people who had a bad day at the horse racing event which attracted a full house.
Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement (MTM) which headlined the event’s after-party were put to test but put up a dismal show as most artistes showed they had a long way to go in terms of live performances.
Worst affected was Nutty O who was one of the first performers. This was his first appearance on a big stage with over 10 000 people watching.
It was clear his music was not known by the masses and they, instead of trying to get to know his music, booed him off the stage. Though he tried to introduce himself to them with a performance of MTM artistes hit track — Chekeche, the crowd would not cooperate and instead started throwing cans and bottles at him. Nutty O was left with no option but to leave the stage.
Though EX Q, another MTM artiste put up a fair show, covering up for Nutty O, the damage had been done already leaving other MTM artistes in a panic mode.
Tahle, an up-and-coming MTM jazz artiste who was also billed to perform could not take to the stage alone and patiently waited for her boss, Jah Prayzah who would then shield her by introducing her to the public by performing with her.
It worked well for her as the crowd tolerated her performance though her voice was not audible probably due to the fact that she was not confident.
Jah Prayzah cheered her on and after singing for less than three minutes, she left the stage in a huff showing signs of fear.
Many felt Jah Prayzah let down his stablemates by putting them into the deep end. They suggested that since most of the artistes were barely known, he needed to go on stage with them and firstly perform Chekeche with them before personally introducing them, one by one to the crowd like he did for Tahle.
Jah Prayzah could not do so as he had other commitments and only got to the venue at about 9PM in time for his performance. He was the closing act and his performance was also compromised as it was cut short after event organisers communicated that the venue had to be closed at 10PM.
A performance of Chekeche that most were anticipating considering it was an MTM affair never happened leaving some disgruntled.
“Jah Prayzah really failed his team and showed that he was not a good leader on this one. He was meant to prepare his MTM artistes for the show and actually take time to introduce each one of them in order for the public to warm up to them.
“He’s a seasoned artiste and these are newcomers in the music industry who need handholding,” said a popular Star FM DJ who declined to be named.
“Now, chances are high Nutty O will never want to hear about a stage as he is likely shattered and demoralised over something that could have easily been avoided,” said the DJ.
Andy Muridzo who is also part of MTM was however in a no show as he was double booked.