HARARE — South African entertainer Zodwa Wabantu's latest snub of Zimbabwe for the third time in a row has shown that she no longer feels secure in the country and is clearly not interested in performing here.
The entertainer was supposed to perform at Club Connect yesterday and Private Lounge in Harare on Thursday but she simply went MIA (Missing in Action).
According to promoters, Devine Assignments, an emissary was sent to collect her in Durban for her two shows here. When the emissary, Tatenda Gwatidzo, landed – he waited for Zodwa to come pick him up and she assured him that she was on her way. After sometime, Gwatidzo tried calling her and she started dodging him by evading his calls before later switching off her phones.
Oddly, Zodwa Wabantu was active on social media, promoting her single with Cyndo called Bheja that was being launched at Cafe Vacca Matta on Thursday, the same day she was supposed to travel to Zimbabwe.
Asked by some fans as to why she was double booking and why she dodged Devine Assignments, Zodwa Wabantu said she was banned from the country.
"I was banned, same politics," responded Zodwa.
This was the only informal communication that she made about her failed shows which she personally advertised on her Instagram page last month, seemingly excited. A visit to her Instagram page though showed that the Zimbabwe show poster had been removed.
What is amazing is that Zodwa was referring to her ban by then President Robert Mugabe during the Harare International Carnival in September after Anne Nhira's call for her axing from the fiesta. However, when Mugabe stepped down, Zodwa personally declared that everything was now alright and she was ready to come to Zimbabwe.
When promoters moved in to bring her back, she showed commitment to come. However, with her latest no show, Zodwa Wabantu might soon learn that Zimbabweans are a fickle type of people who lose interest for an entertainer at the blink of an eye.
She may want to learn from Babes Wodumo who also stood up fans in Bulawayo last year at the Kalawa Homecoming party. The same euphoria that Zodwa Wabantu is enjoying this year was the same that Babes Wodumo basked in last year.
However, when Babes finally found time from her busy schedule to squeeze Zimbabwe for a show this year, only a handful of people pitched up. So bad were the numbers that show organisers had to let in street kids and other people who were milling around the venue for free to swell up the numbers of paid customers at the Large City Hall.
When Zodwa Wabantu decides to finally come to Zimbabwe, most likely through another local promoter as Devine Assignments have vowed to never work with her, she might be greeted by an empty terminal at the airport and a handful of fans at the nightspot that will host her.
After all, she has nothing much to offer save for her one Vosho dance routine and presence on stage. The enigma that surrounded her not wearing panties has since evaporated as she recently showed her fanny at the red carpet of the Feather Awards and the pictures went viral.
In any case, people will soon forget about her as another superstar from Mzansi would have taken her spot, maybe her rival Skolopad for all she knows.
However, Zodwa Wabantu is not to blame for all this as during the Harare carnival, Patrick Zhuwao, in his capacity as acting tourism minister, threatened Zodwa Wabantu with arrest. This threat has been used time and again by Zodwa as an excuse for her decision not to come to Zimbabwe.
She has also demanded that promoters give her assurance in writing that she will not be arrested during her visit, but it seems she has never got a convincing assurance.
Even with the new dispensation, especially with the ongoing Restore Legacy operation, is there a guarantee that she will not be arrested for her act that was deemed indecent although the Censorship board would have cleared her?
The fact though is Zodwa Wabantu has shown that she does not want to come to the country come rain or thunder and Zimbabweans, especially promoters, should turn to other forms of entertainment.
Her local promoters should also count this as a business deal gone sour and look for other ways to get their money back from Zodwa Wabantu and save themselves the heartache.