National Stadium filled up!
Over 20 000 revelers turn up for #TlatsaLebala
On Sunday morning, after the hangover of the previous night cleared, Kast must have opened his eyes to one of the greatest feelings any human being can ever be awake to: success!
It is easy to get lost in this moment and forget the tsunami of doubt that Kast swam against, right before he started his 1000 km walk from Maun, to when he actually finished it, till the drama which prevailed right until 5th May when social media chatter suggested that it was foregone that #TlatsaLebala would collapse because artists were pulling out due to contract disagreements.
So, when Kast woke up on Monday too, his whole life must have flashed before him when the thought of what could have happened if he had failed to fill up the National Stadium in Gaborone- a feat he had been dreaming of, pushing and battering his body for- for many months. That thought is what makes it all the more satisfying for the never-say-die rapper today, because it can now be safely said “He has made it in life.” He made it even against some negative social media buzz of Friday 5th May which was waiting for everything to collapse on 6th May so it can say We Told You So!
“This great attendance just backs up my words when I said local music is good enough and has the potential to pull crowds. If given enough credit we could do a whole lot more,” declared Kast who also revealed his #TlatsaLebala has set a record after it surpassed its target of 20 000 attendants, more than filling up the national stadium.
Contrary to rumors suggesting that artists were pulling from the show en mass the previous day, Kast confirmed that all the 52 artists in the lineup who pledged to perform for free turned up except for one. The show however was difficult to pull off according to the musician. “This was a very expensive show to pull off and our only main sponsor was the government. We had to take care of other expenses including sound and lighting among others amounting close to P1.8 million,” he said, adding that “Having a lineup of pledges was a blessing in disguise and it would have been awkward to pay some artists and leave out others.”
Commenting on the total amount accumulated from gate takings and plans for the funds, Kast said they are still waiting for a report from Webtickets regarding the number of tickets sold but the amount should closely match the number of people who attended, he explained: “There are expenses that need to be paid and the remaining funds will go towards the Kast Foundation which will enable us to do this event again next year.”
Asked about challenges experienced during the show, Kast said their security was overwhelmed by the high numbers of attendants, which they did not anticipate. “But these issues will be rectified in the next TlatsaLebala which I hope would be bigger and better with a bigger stage and more sound as well as attracting people from other countries,” he opined. The other failure concerned corporate villages, the shows idea of having designated corporate points. “No one ended up paying for corporate villages. The response I got was that they were having financial constraints,” Kast explained.
Kast should walk with his head high because he did not only do himself proud, but a generation of young and upcoming Batswana who find themselves growing up in a country often swamped by pessimism, thanks to trying economic times and a politically charged environment which tends to polarize consensus on anything, even a noble idea like Tlatsa Lebala which should ordinarily be more unifying than dividing for a young music industry like Botswana’s.