The Bulawayo Shutdown gig has become an annual event and a culture to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) week as it marks the end of the exhibition.
For the past years, many people have had different experiences that happen during the night of the gig. Some have lost their lives, some injured, with the most losing their valuable gadgets.
Some even experience the most entertaining and a happy night they have never had in their lives.
At the end of the day, everyone has a tale to tell of their experience at the shutdown gig.
Multi-award-winning sensation Novuyo Seagirl makes a major throwback as she takes us four years back and narrates how she was victimised at the Bulawayo shutdown gig.
“Four years ago, not only was I booed on stage, but people threw missiles at me on stage at the ZITF Bulawayo shutdown show because they didn’t think I was good enough to perform on that platform.
“I was just an up-and-coming artiste as they call it and despite my songs making waves on air, it seems like they didn’t care enough to give me a chance to prove that I’m also a good performer.
“What breaks my heart the most is that I was the only female artiste on that line up and the only one from Bulawayo to grace the stage that night (I stand to be corrected). I was super excited at this opportunity but the night had other plans for me.
I was bold enough to stand my ground, and remind our people that they needed to support their own.
A lot of people did not know the real meaning of the story but they were quick to roast me and judge me.
Well, today I felt the need to share the details of what really happened that day that pushed me to end up overreacting and telling people where to get off.
Now, the morning of that day, the promoter called me and gave me contacts of a lady who was supposed to update me on the programme of that night.
Guess what, the lady was missing in action all day long. I think I only spoke to her once and that was it. Now take note, I also tried to get a hold of the promoter too but he was also nowhere to be found.
Fast forward, I went to the venue to try and get accreditation for my team but when I got there, the bouncers ill-treated me. One of them asked me who I was and when I tried to explain that I was also performing, he was like “we don’t know you”.
I even tried to show him that I was on the poster but the bouncer gave me a cold shoulder. Bahlali (friends), I was stuck by the gate for a while until one guy who happens to know me came to the rescue.
At this point, performances had already started and I’m not even inside, no one is paying attention to me, imagine.
I managed to get in through the first gate and I still had another second one to pass through. I was told to wait by the side so the guy who issues our accreditation can come and serve me.
He took a very long time until it was time for Winky D to come and perform.
Now this is the best part of it!
Ex Q, Takura, Jah Prayzah had already performed and I am still stuck by the second gate, and Winky D had already been announced next on stage.
People who were still stuck outside were so eager to get in to an extent that it ended up being a stampede. I was a victim of that chaos. The durawall fell on me and my foot got injured.
No one cared, but luckily a journalist (Bongani Ndlovu) and Peejay spotted me and helped me. Finally, I saw the promoter and he was too busy to care. No first aid, no attention on me, nothing whatsoever.
At that juncture, everyone was in an excited mood as Winky D was doing his usual performance skills on stage. I spoke to the promoter again and he said I was going to get on stage after Winky.
As someone who was hungry for an opportunity and with no management whatsoever, I was like it’s cool. Little did I know it was going to wake up trending.
Now tell me if you were in my shoes that day, how were you going to react to people booing you on stage? After all the mistreatment, the stampede, the ignorance, especially as a female creative who is only starting to build her brand in this male dominated industry?
Happy Shutdown anniversary! But, sadly this day (Bulawayo Shutdown gig) only brings back these sad memories to me but it was a learning curve for me.
I don’t wish for a young Bulawayo creative to be treated the same way I was treated.
To all those who supported me at that time and now, I am forever grateful,” wrote Novuyo Seagirl.