BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
THE announcement of ticket prices for the American rapper Rick Ross’ planned show in Zimbabwe has ignited heated debate and outrage.
The multi-Grammy-nominated rapper is scheduled for a maiden Zimbabwean performance on November 17 at the Harare International Conference Centre, courtesy of global media and entertainment company, ROAR Entertainment.
The concert organisers have revealed the ticket prices for the show amid reports that only 4 500 tickets would be available.
General access early-bird tickets are pegged at US$50 per individual, while the early-bird VIP ticket costs US$150 per head available until August 31.
It is the VVIP tickets that have divided opinions and triggered mixed reactions.
The VVIP silver ticket will cost US$3 000, VVIP gold ticket US$4 000 and VVIP premium ticket for US$5 000, enough to buy a small and neat new car.
Considering how our economy is performing, debate has centred on whether the ticket pricing is ridiculous or justified.
Followers of showbiz matters yesterday expressed outrage on Facebook and Twitter over what they described as “ridiculously” high price of Rick Ross’s concert.
Some showbiz devotees said at a time money was scarce and thousands of people are starving, many would rather invest their meagre resources into their families’ “bread and butter”.
They said they would rather support local artistes rather than be ripped off by the concert organisers.
Local promoter Nigel Chinovhiringa, however, believes the ticket pricing is justified.
“It is only that people do not understand what it takes to bring such a big act to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Let’s go and support so that the promoters are encouraged to bring more big acts to Zimbabwe which will be great for the entertainment industry.”
Renowned multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Clive “Mono” Mukundu said American artistes were very expensive to hire because they charge according to their economy.
“Well, in the United States of America tickets for big artists range from US$500 and the lowest being around $75,” he said, adding that at the same time they needed to strike a balance since Zimbabwe and America are totally different worlds.
Others were of a different viewpoint.
“Rick Ross is the biggest boss and he is very expensive to hire. In Kenya they once failed to meet his requirements, they asked for 300 Belaire bottles of champagne,100 drying towels, three floors of a hotel for his gang only and women then US$500K,” said GIBZ MECK.
Gora ZW said: “Hazviko, Kutenga Honda Fit Hybrid wobva watongopa Rick Ross, obva atongoenda. (Not worth it, it’s like buying a Honda Fit Hybrid and giving it to Rick Ross).
Tee Shito said: “Instead of going to the concert, register to vote, you will be able to afford to fly to the United States of America and see him live in a night club for just $20. While you are there you will see a tonne more of your favourites.”
Vimbai Cheryl Mangwiza said: “Wow… for US$5K maybe rather fly to the United States to watch him perform there, do some shopping, site seeing and still come home with change.”
“He is not worth that much, even if he was doing the show at a venue in Mars or Pluto, dreaming of it is cold by the way,” said Sean Komboni.
Royal Mapoore said: “I am personally going to attend because Rick Ross is a genius. Why not let people enter for free or charge US$1? When alcohol is being bought and people are washing their hands with US$500 champopo (champagne) and spending thousands on alcohol bills, it’s not money stolen. Anyway, I can’t wait for ‘THE BOSS’.”
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