A cloud of uncertainty hangs over Chimurenga musician Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo’s return to the United States from South Africa after flights were disrupted due to the Omicron coronavirus, amid revelations that the musician’s shows across the Limpopo River were a flop.
Sources in South Africa told Standard Style that Mapfumo’s departure scheduled for tomorrow hangs in the balance due to restrictions as a result of the outbreak of the omicron coronavirus.
The virus was first detected in South Africa, which saw a number of flights and countries suspending flights in most countries in southern Africa.
The source said Mukanya, who was in South Africa for a two-legged concert organised by One Love Movement — a South Africa-based events company, had to extend his stay in that country hastily organising shows in Cape Town and Durban outside his scheduled Johannesburg and Pretoria gigs.
The Vanhu Vatema hit maker flew into South Africa from the US on November 6 for two shows pencilled for Newtown Music Factory, formerly known as Bassline, in Johannesburg on the same day with the second show scheduled for The Pavilion in Sunnyside, Pretoria on November 7.
“He came to South Africa for two shows and these were successful,” said the show.
“However, Mukanya had to stay longer here because he got promoters who wanted him to perform in Cape Town and Durban, but both shows proved to be flops.
“The other issue was that it was a burden on the part of promoters who had to take care of Mukanya and his entourage of 14 members.
“As a result, the promoters for the Cape Town and Durban did not make any profit for the shows.”
However, another source said Mukanya’s flight back to the US could have been caused by his “failed” gigs.
“He could have gone back long back, but his extended stay could have been to do with flight money or he was waiting for payment,” said another source.
“I am told he is going back on Monday [tomorrow], but I am not sure whether he won’t be affected by the new Covid-19 restrictions as flights from South Africa have been barred in other countries.”
Ashton “Kachie” Mutuvha, from One Love Movement confirmed the musician was set to fly back to the United States tomorrow.
“”His return flight was initially scheduled for December 6 and we just hope the flight will not be cancelled,” said Mutuvha.
He could not explain whether the flight had been disrupted by the outbreak of the omicron coronavirus.
This is not the first time that Mukanya has “overstayed” when he travels for shows, having been stranded in Zimbabwe in 2018 following a series of flopped gigs around the country.
However, the Chimurenga maestro who has since hinted at retiring, refuted claims that he was stranded and staying with a Harare woman.
Mukanya said the rumours were being peddled by colleagues in the industry who were trying to soil his image.
Efforts to contact Mukanya were fruitless yesterday as he was not picking up WhatsApp calls. Standard