Monday, March 17, 2008

Akon snubs Nairobi fans. Again!

Only God knows what Kenyans did to Akon. Word reaching us is that the much touted Akon show slated for Saturday night at the Carnivore grounds was cancelled one hour into the show... if that is even possible.

The show was starting at 6pm, but the 7pm KTN Swahili bulletin broke the news to Kenyans, many of whom had travelled from as far as Western Kenya for the show. This is the 5th time the chart-busting, Senegalese-born American star has left Kenyan fans with a sour taste in the mouth. Akon snubbed Kenya last year where he was set to perform at Impala Grounds in Nairobi in a December show which had been organised by Bushstock Entertainment. Meanwhile, word is rife that it’s now confirmed that Akon will perform in Uganda in April. Reliable sources in the thick and thin of his tour of Uganda have confirmed that the bouncing R&B singer will be performing live at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala.

Which only begs one question: why are international singers snubbing Kenya? I remember watching Akon in Dar es Salaam in August 2006, and Kenyans had to travel across borders for the show because he was not slated for a Nairobi show. More recently, UB40 chose to sing their swan song in Kampala, not Nairobi. So what is happening in Kenya? Could it be because Kenyan promoters are straight con men? I remember the story of a famous Radio presenter-turned concert promoter got his knickers in a twist and was facing due process with his wife over non-payment of fees to Shaggy. More humiliating, however, were the scenes on national TV when reggae veteran Apple Gabriel of Israel Vibrations had to literally break out of Chester House because his promoters refused to settle his bill. The good managers at Chester House refused to let him go till the bill was settled, and he had to spend close to a week in that prison, which necessitated his break-out. But the mother of them all was General Defao who had to spend close to a year imprisoned at Palacina Residential Hotel for the same reasons. It is therefore understandable if Akon did not want to take the risk or be part of this Kenyan circus.

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