National shutdown: showbiz feels the heat

THE ongoing national shutdown called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions over the country’s worsening economic meltdown, has not spared the showbiz scene with several joints cancelling their mid-week gigs.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

A number of entertainment hubs usually host some mid-week concerts from Wednesday (yesterday) as build-ups to the weekend gigs, but this week they had to cancel the shows as the national shutdown which started on Monday entered day three yesterday.

The country is experiencing protests since Monday that have resulted in some deaths and serious injuries as there have been grim confrontations between State security agents and the civilians.

Some joint managers who spoke to NewsDay Life &Style yesterday confirmed that they have cancelled the shows and temporarily closed for the safety of the patrons.

Among the popular joints that have temporarily closed their doors are Club Archies, Holly’s Hotel, Red Café and City Sports Bar.

City Sports Bar’s entertainment manager Mathias Bangure said tonight they will not be hosting the Afribbean Night gig as they have closed and will re-open when the environment is calm.

“We are following the unfolding events, but at the moment we have closed for our patrons’ safety and will only open our doors when the situation normalises,” he said.

Dendera singer Tryson Chimbetu’s latest album review concert that was scheduled for Red Café in Harare yesterday was also postponed as the joint has shut its doors.

Sungura singer Romeo Gasa’s (pictured) Thursday weekly performance at East Point in Harare hangs in limbo with the joint’s entertainment manager DJ Danny saying the musician is always available for the slot, but this week the show will be determined by the prevailing situation.

Chimurenga music icon Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo’s scheduled farewell gig at East Point on Saturday is also in doubt with DJ Danny saying they are likely to postpone the show to next week provided the United States-based musician would still be in the country.

The shutdown has resulted in government blocking Internet with both club managers and some artistes expressing disappointment over the loss of business as a result of the blackout.

Since Monday, there have been a minimised movement of people as some heavily armed soldiers and police are patrolling the streets in major cities and towns across the country with several reports of assaults on civilians mainly in high-density suburbs like Kuwadzana, Dzivarasekwa, Warren Park, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku and Epworth.

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