Dar es Salaam. The Tigo Fiesta finale is considered as one of the hottest nights in Tanzania’s entertainment industry as it brings together the cream of the music industry both local and foreign on the same stage.
In the past 16 years on this very ground, lasting bonds have been built, hatchets were buried and even new relationships have blossomed.
The party trail that kicked off in Arusha in August reaching out to regional towns and cities such as Songea, Kahama, Musoma, Shinyanga, Singida, Tanga, Moshi, Morogoro, Dodoma and Iringa.
Other towns that festival went to include Mbeya, Tabora, Mtwara before finally coming to the Dar es Salaam gig.
At all these venues, the concert registered record attendances that will take some time to break, especially the launch in Arusha which beat the usual stereotype a violent city.
There was uncertainty as the city’s law makers had stuck to their guns that the show would end at 1 am as stipulated by the City Council laws on open air performances. The Regional Commissioner had set it clearly in black and white; therefore, it had to take some superior intervention I guess to allow the show to go on until 6am.
And due to popular demand the show received a nod from the President who allowed citizens to party until early hours of Sunday and maybe it was just what we were looking forward to.
It was a stitch in time that saved nine, as rogues usually way lay returning revellers who they rob of their valuable possessions with the festival ending at sunrise not a single case was reported.
The extension of the performance hours was a great boost as youthful revellers turned up in large numbers to watch their stars on stage. And as some have suggested the Sh10,000 entry fee was an extra impetus for more revellers to turn up.
The bad news, however, that accompanied the announcement was that this was the alst time that the venue was going to be used for such occassion.
The last time the festival relocated to other venues such as Posta Grounds and the National Stadium (Uhuru Stadium) revellers were not comfortable.
Revellers were left exposed to hooligans in the Stadium event wheras Posta Grounds’ logistics just couldn’t cope with the traffic.
As promised it was one hundred per cent local act with a lineup of performers with resumes just as sterling as probably their own fashion senses were at hand to entertain an equally expectant audience. Leading the park were female artistes Vanessa Mdee, Maua Sama, Nandy, Lulu Diva with performances that started early in the evening carrying on until the break of dawn.
Others who were equally a hit with the fans included Jux, AliKiba, Dogo Janja, Chege, Stamina, Christian Bella, Ben Pol, Weusi, Dogo Asley and others in no particular order.
But as the audience celebrated the high profile performances, probably what caught their attention was the return Afande Sele’s appearance on stage.
The idea that most of these acts perform live was a popular one to most of the revellers but at the end of the day it came to individual artistes’ ability to execute such a monumental task at hand.
There were those that were up to task such as AliKiba, Ommy Dimpoz, Nandy, Ben Pol to mention a few, whereas to some like Dogo Janja this was not their kind of thing, he struggled performing with the band.
It was either that he had not practiced enough therefore rendering him incapable to meet the demands of the day.
His compatriots such as Aslay and Mr Blue settled for a full playback performance and even with its short comings it still served the purpose of the day.
The International artiste debate
Tigo Fiesta organisers might have achieved their objective but there is one question that just won’t go away very soon and that is the issue of international artistes (Read American).
To some of the revellers despite a high profile production, some of the artiste do not fit the profile that Tigo Fiesta provides.
To them this was only for the best whose repertoire were detailed enough to match the night under the stars. “It is true we are giving value to the Made in Tanzania but some of these singers are still struggling and this is not a place for strugglers,” commented one reveller.
If at all the stage was glamorous, there was even much more on the sidewalks as the youthful crowd at the venue had a fine taste for fashion.
Led by their stars such, it was a gala where plenty was on display.
Some like Maua Summer and Vanessa Mdee were like some Kamikaze mission as their dressing left very little to imagination!
Among their disciples all you could see were the Little Black dresses, paisley getups, tank tops and some hot pants for the young women, the kind of stuff that would make you reconsider your taste for haute couture.
Though there are no official records available, it is believed that the boutiques and hairdressers in town were in brisk business as revellers were eager to dress to impress.
It seems to be the last detail that many talk about yet it is the cornerstone on which every concert is based without which revellers just won’t show up.
This one went down as a show with the tightest security arrangement that Leaders’ Club is yet to experience as police and security personnel covered a radius of 3km around the grounds.
With over 40 infrared camera set in and around the grounds, every detail of what was happening here was recorded and monitored in real time .
The security personnel which included uniformed and plain clothed policemen admitted that there were no incidences reported during the show as security was well taken care of.
Though it felt a bit uncomfortable dancing amid such a strong security presence, it was worth it as the entrance was clear with only ticket holders were allowed near the perimeter fencing.