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Macheso recounts SA horror

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“It was so bad and we had to run off the stage to a nearby closed compartment for protection when a teargas canister exploded in the venue.”

These were the words of sungura maestro Alick Macheso yesterday as he recounted the chaos that marred his show in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday.

Macheso arrived back home on Monday after an eventful tour that almost ended prematurely when violence broke out just after he went on stage at Marafco Club.

Macheso said his band spent about an hour in hiding before resuming the performance.

“It started when I took to the stage after Nox’s performance. There was a sudden stampede and security details threw teargas into the auditorium. I had noticed there was something wrong outside the venue just before I went on stage,” said Macheso.

He said he was happy that none of his band members was injured and his equipment was not destroyed.

“We just ran off the stage without securing our instruments. The band members just dropped their instruments and ran for safety. I am happy no harm was done to them and the instruments,” he said.

The sungura musician said he had to continue with the show because of his love for the fans.

“The love that I have for my fans forced me to continue with the show and I am happy the rest of the show was splendid.”

A spokesperson for CC Promotions who organised the show apologised for the chaos and said security personnel at the venue had overreacted.

“Fans were apparently waiting to hear that Macheso was really performing before paying because they have been duped before,” said the spokesperson.

“When Macheso started playing his first songs there was pressure at the door as fans jostled to get in.

“A security detail sprayed fire extinguisher at the stampeding fans and that was how the chaos began. At first we thought it was teargas, but we later realised it was a fire extinguisher.

“About 1 000 people took advantage of the chaos and forced their way into the venue without paying.
We apologise to our fans for the commotion and promise that next time we will ensure venue security is tight.”

Meanwhile, Macheso leaves for a tour of the United Kingdom today that will see him staging two shows in London and Leicester. The musician promised to introduce new songs in the UK.

“We are going for two shows and our fans should look forward to a memorable experience. We are going to sample some of our new songs.”

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