Lively performances! But it could have been much, much better.
The curtain came down on Intwasa Arts Festival 2019 last weekend and the celebration saw master-class thoroughly worked out pieces and mediocre acts, if attendance statistics and spectator remarks are anything to go by.
The six-day festival imported South Africa’s finest comedians, Trevor Gumbi and Khanyisa Bunu for the Big Night of Comedy, Q Dube and Clive Chigubu on the line-up as well.
South Africa’s Gumbi and Bunu were crowd pullers and headline acts to Intwasa. However, the comedy audience shall live to tell a different tale.
Bulawayo-bred humorist, award winning Clive Chigubu, who has been off the game for quite some time surprised many with his top-notch act which many confused for the final act of the night.
With the comedy-box arranged with a toilet scenario, the energetic giggler came up to the stage wearing a formal suit jacket but somehow he seemed to have forgotten his pair of trousers at the back stage, putting on nothing but boxer shorts and an oversized formal shoe.
What did you have in mind with the pants down?
“Clive has to bring something new to the table and l guess that was the ‘new’ . . . rules of the theatre, don’t just put your pants down, punch lines must follow.”
Hitting the ground high and rolling, ex-President R G Mugabe was at the heart of the comedian’s presentation as he made his life story the gist of his act, cracking the crowd to laughs, as he said:
“Today I’m feeling like Mugabe’s coffin, electrified.”
“I was happy that the audience appreciated the act . . . comedy is about energy, throw it to the people, they will give you back that energy, electrified.”
The Yeye slogan maker hinted that the chamber on stage was a concept of his television show that is in the pipeline, Bulawayo Broadcasting at the Chamber which is a fusion of stand-up and sketch comedy.
Tossing the coin, this year’s Intwasa Arts Festival certainly did not live up to its billing as anticipated, with the audience questioning the change of opening ceremony venue, from City Hall to the Bulawayo Theatre which was not favoured by some. The venue was not filled up.
Fast forward to Friday, Intwasa Bayethe concert, comments were overheard with some onlookers critiquing the attendance statistics saying: “The attendees today are the real people of kwaBayethe Mthwakazi ‘Bulawayo’.”
It was not clear whether it was a lack of sufficient publicity around the events or the weather that kept people away, or the general economic environment.
The show, which was scheduled for 6pm was postponed to 8pm, it was then further pushed to 10pm due to unknown reasons.
B-Metro managed to get a comment from one of the spectators who identified herself as Thando Jocelyn Dube and she said:
“Besides the delay of starting times, there’s one more thing that disturbed me, when Bazooka was performing, I observed that the crowd was on their feet but when it was time for our very own local artistes, support and hype was low-key.”