AMERICAN icon Puff Daddy and several other celebrated music icons in the world could be heading to Zimbabwe if moves by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and British singer Shola Ama become fruitful.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Ama sneaked into the country on Monday accompanied by her sister, Zimbabwean London-based duo of Spencer Mutemasango and Dumisani Makotore who are Big Base Entertainment promotional company owner and chief entertainment officer respectively.
The team left the country yesterday after visiting Victoria Falls.
Shola Ama’s visit strengthened possibilities of big names connected to her among them Puff Daddy visiting the country soon.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) invited the British RnB singer Shola Ama, born Mathurin Campbell, to discuss the possibility of Zimbabwe hosting Puff Daddy’s famous white party like the one he held in Morocco two years ago.
Speaking at a press conference held at a local hotel in the capital before Ama left for her UK base yesterday, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said plans were underway to return the musician for a performance in Zimbabwe.
“When we asked Spencer Mutemasango to coordinate some artistes who would come to Zimbabwe he told us that he had a lot of influence with some artistes and said he knows a lady musician called Shola Ama who is almost connected with every artistes that is what he told us,” Kaseke said.
“When I asked him what you mean she is almost connected to other artistes he (Mutemasango) said I mean exactly that. Name any artistes and I will tell you how she is connected. I named Beyoncé and he told me how she is connected.
“Because I don’t know many artistes I then named Chris Brown and told me how she was connected to that and I then mentioned someone whom I was corrected several times and cannot remember and he said the name (Puff Daddy), he said they are very close friends, and said he held a white party in Morocco two years ago were he invited all artistes with names and I said I think I would like something like that.
“He said Shola Ama would come to Zimbabwe first and see the possibilities of us holding that party which is held every year and she came thus the main reason why Shola Ama was here among other reasons and she said she will be coming to perform in September,” Kaseke said.
Kaseke regretted knowing Ama this late, but however insisted it was “better late than never” hence plans to bring up something big.
The You Might Need Somebody singer said she was looking forward for her debut performance in Zimbabwe.
“I had a great time in Zimbabwe and I would come to shoot my video here and that would be my first project,” she said.
Speaking to NewsDay on the side-lines of the conference, Makotore said as Big Base Entertainment they are determined to promote Zimbabwe’s tourism sector through bringing in musicians among other prominent celebrities from abroad.
“We have been doing a lot of promotions in United Kingdom and as for now we want to promote our country’s tourism so that many people out there can come to understand our nation better,” Makotore said.
“With Shola we are trying to organise something big in Zimbabwe just like the white party that was organised by Puff Daddy,” he said.
Shola Ama realised her first single release for WEA You’re the One I Love in 1996. At the age of 18, she released her debut album Much Love in 1997.
In 1999, she released her second album In Return. The project saw her working with the record producers Fred Jerkins III, Stargate and Shaun Labelle, but the album was a commercial flop.
In July 2004, Ama was quoted in the UK media saying the cocaine habit had destroyed her career.
She was quoted saying the pressures of the music industry drove her to drink and drug addiction.
“Out of boredom and curiosity I tried it – and that was the beginning of my downfall,” she said