The Legendary Lira

14 Oct

In Botswana we take fun to be our God given right, re breaka fun just nje whatever the weather. Shems, Lira… ya neh. It was a dope night out, I mean Botswancraft and Mascom just seem to be trying to become a weekend special every other weekend. Spoiling Botswana bound fun lovers rotten, next thing you know the concerts are going to stop (Budgets) and then the snipeing will start for real.

When Mascom Live Sessions began, the rumours were that it was going to be for a set number of shows only, anything between 10 and 15… you can’t trust those rumours you know because the rumours said nothing about Salif Keita, they also said nothing about Thomas Mapfumo, I mean at this juncture I half way expect Shabba Ranks to rise out of the ashes of 40% alcohol levy inferno that decimated many a fun option in GC… O-Zone anyone?

Anyway its now Lira’s turn (again) at the now legendary Botswanacraft stage… I am trying not to talk about the last time I didn’t see Lira perform. Macufe 2010… at simply one of the most amazing performance venues I have ever been to, PACOFS in Manaung  or Bloemfontein to the die hards. So there we were mid delay, caused by negotiations between Lira’s people and the concert organisers, tweeting about the random things going on in a swanky venue. Mangaung peeps are a total riot, they are black and there ain’t a damn thing they are thinking of doing about it. With hosts like that you always have a great time nine-9 because you too can be yourself. Ya no, so the delay stretches out until many of us remembered that there were drinks outside in the foyer. I did say it is a beautiful venue, so no drinks allowed inside the auditorium. Since we were visiting our Southern neighbours, we phuza’d for a bit… then phuza’d a little more and promptly forgot about Lira.

Mooooole, someone came out of the auditorium (not hall, PACOFS is a fine place, need I remind you?) with a stormy look, talking about , “journalists were asked to leave the room.” Them was fighting words to the well oiled on liquid hospitality scribes… in Botswana we have a term “go reka kgang” Which means you “bought” the issue, or took up the cause. And so it was now all about Lira this, Lira that. Bottom line we missed the show, not even on the little TVs conveniently sprinkled in the foyer to show uncouth types like tipsy journalists with an imaginary axe to grind what was unfolding on stage. Later after cooling down a lot, indeed we had left to pursue other Macufe pleasures on offer, we got the real story. Yes, Lira had read out a statement from her record company requesting that journos not record her performance. It turns out that a fine point hadn’t been covered by the contract, and the artist was just caught in the middle. The journos that had worked through their frustration and stayed for the show had a blast, as was to be expected, you can’t get on the stage at PACOFS and disappoint.

Lira is also a notorious perfectionist so there isn’t a chance in hell that anyone dropping in on the Friday 4th November at Botswanacraft will have anything to say other than sigh their heads off in abject pleasure.

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