AMERICAN R&B singer Toni Braxton had planned a press conference in Harare but called it off on Mugabe’s instruction.
by Staff Reporter
HARARE:Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has forced American R&B star Toni Braxton to cancel a press conference which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at a local hotel ahead of her debut performance at the Borrowdale Racecourse in the capital on Friday, theZimbabwenewslive can reveal.
The move is the latest sign of heavy handedness by Mugabe , who did not want the press conference to clash with his much awaited state of the nation address to Parliament.
A member of the organising team working with Bernie Bismark who is BD music director organising the show said the press conference has been called off to allow the musician time to rest.
“The press conference was cancelled after agreeing that Toni Braxton must take a rest since she arrived late last night,” he said.
However , a senior official in the president’s office who declined to be named told theZimbabwenewslive that Mugabe felt the singer will steal the limelight .
“The organisers can’t announce a programme and suddenly cancel it without giving a valid reason especially when it coincided with such a ‘great’ event “, he said.
Another insider who spoke on condition of anonymity said the event organisers should have provided the authorities with information about the event in advance, but because they didn’t they were asked to postpone it because “we are still in a sensitive time.”
This is not the first time Mugabe has caused a major event cancellation.In 2013, it was reported that Mtukudzi could not get his honorary doctorate for fears that he would “steal the thunder” from President Robert Mugabe, the university’s Chancellor, who was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in African Heritage and Philosophy at the ceremony at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU).
The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo, was quoted a year later as saying this time it is “definite” that Tuku is going to get the accolade, as a previous move to honour him at the institution’s seventh graduation ceremony last year was cancelled at the last minute under unclear circumstances.
Toni Braxton is in the country as part of her African tour that will see her also performing in South Africa.She jetted into the country Monday night in the company of her sisters, Trina and Towanda.
The You Make Me High singer’s performance is expected to illuminate the capital’s nightlife on the day.
Braxton shows that she has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums, worldwide. She has won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards and seven American Music Awards.
After the Zimbabwe show, she is billed to perform at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban South Africa on August 30, Grand Arena, Grandwest, Cape Town South Africa on September 1 with her final show slated for The Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg South Africa on September. Toni Braxton will be joined by another icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds as they share the stage at the potentially explosive show.
The duo has collaborated on their latest, Grammy award winning album Love, Marriage and Divorce which chronicles their life experience. The album has been number one in Southern Africa and the popularity of both Toni Braxton and Babyface continue to grow on the African continent.