Friday, November 24, 2017

It is Tigo Fiesta finale and it’s local

Bongo Flava artiste Ben Pol Performs during the

Bongo Flava artiste Ben Pol Performs during the festival’s stint in the capital Dodoma. 

By Paul Owere

The Tigo Fiesta festival has reached the home stretch with the final concert set for Leaders’ Club on Saturday night and for the first time in the 16-year history it is going to be an all local act.

This comes after a nationwide tour that took local artistes to regional towns of Arusha, Musoma, Kahama, Mwanza, Tabora, Kogoma, Sumbawanga, Mbeya, Iringa, Njombe, Songea,Tanga, Moshi, Dodoma, Morogoro, and Mtwara.

Held under the theme ‘Tumekusoma’, the festival witnessed several artistes take the stage some for the first time in their careers.

The new arrangement of having an all local set up with an international outlook replaces the norm of hiring international artistes for the grand finale.

In the past the event has hosted artistes such as Ludicrous, Lil Kim, Shaggy, Rick Ross, Kate De Luna, Eve and many others.

Organisers say the time for local artistes to fill up these grounds was long overdue.

Their choice for a local theme was prompted with the fact that Tanzanian musicians are respected elsewhere which is a manifestation of how far Bongo Flava has gone.

“When you look at it carefully we already have International artistes here who grace big stages elsewhere in sold out concerts. In the face of that what more do we need,” Clouds Media Group’s Ruge Mutahaba said in an earlier interview.

Speaking yesterday Ruge said the show is set to start at 2pm with some live bands playing and the first artiste is set to go on stage at 4pm. “We are ready to give revellers an experience of a life time, to make them comeback next time to support local content because the shows have been produced to meet their desired taste,” said Ruge.

According to him, a total of 17 artistes have been lined up for the finale that is set to pit the best of Bongo Flava artistes, most of them being those that made it to the 15regional towns such as Ben Pol and Vanessa Mdee.

He named others as Ali Kiba, Aslay, Ben Pol, Barnaba, Chege,Darasa, Dogo Janja, Jux, Fid-Q, Rostam (Roma na Stamina), Rich Mavoko, Nandy, Mr Blue, Vanessa Mdee, Maua, Ommy Dimpoz, the Weusi crew comprising Joh Makini, G-Nako and Nikki wa Pili.

Speaking yesterday at news conference Tigo’s, William Mpinga also reiterated that the Tigo Fiesta 2017 Tumekusoma Festival will feature 100 per cent local artistes and local content.

“The grand finale features 100 percent local content. This is because Tigo Fiesta 2017 is determined to revolutionalize the music industry by supporting the growth and development of local talent. We have provided popular local artistes with a platform to travel across the country meet their fans and perform live in front of thousands of people in 17 regions of the country,” Mpinga said.

He adds: We believe that the promotion of budding talent music industry and create job opportunities for the youth. Through this year’s festival we have uncovered fresh talent through the Tigo Fiesta 2017 – Super Nyota contest and the Tigo Fiesta 2017 – Cypher rap competition. The winners of both contests will perform at the grand finale tomorrow.

The laws

As Dar revellers gear up for the charged up affair, there was word that the concert wouldn’t be allowed to go all the way to the wee hours as the norm as has been.

The implications of this are rather simple, not all the artistes who were supposed to perform will get the rare opportunity to perform at this iconic ground.

Should the Regional Commissioner stick to his word to observe the law as required, then the concert will only go until 1am.

And according to PrimeTime they have organized for transportation to take show goers from the concert to different connection points after the show.


Though the partnership between CMG and Tigo has constantly insisted that they are finally ready to stage a show with 100 per cent local content, there are questions that emerge.

The final show at Leaders’ Club is supposed to be a celebration of Bongo Flava’s journey, therefore a place to showcase the best stories that have unfolded in the two decades.

These stories cannot be told in any other way apart from quality performances and creativity that underscores the milestones of the industry.

This, therefore, calls for a performance of its kind to prove doubters that these artistes have grown to the standards that we crave for from foreign artistes who rake in hundreds of millions.

The recent past has not been a very great story as many of the artistes have stuck to playback and even those who tried to go the live root, either sounded flat or were just not into the business.

According to CMG and Tigo the show is going to be live and every artiste will perform live come tomorrow night.

The costs of hosting foreign artistes could be astronomical with some asking in excess of Sh230 million for a 45 minute concert, however many revellers admit that this isn’t likely to be the same.

“The only reason why I looked forward to this show in the past was that I expected to see an international artiste and I think that even the artistes learnt something from the visiting performer,” says one Rajab Minja a resident of Kinondoni.

In 2012 when Rick Ross came to Tanzania hundreds of revellers travelled from neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Rwanda to watch the show, highlighting the festival’s prominence.

The last 16 years have been great and the show’s model is one that many countries are looking forward to emulate, this therefore demands that the artistes rise up to the challenge that is being put to them!