UNPOPULAR OPINION OF PLAYING TO THE GALLERY: THE CASE OF LUSAKA PLAY HOUSE
In the last few days, we have witnessed debate on the proposed construction of a fuel station near the Lusaka Play house. Some artistes and other stakeholders have sharply opposed the move, arguing that the play house has historical significance.
While we are at it, the majority of the people opposing this move have moved their shows from there. They prefer to do their shows from government complex and MICC to Lusaka play house. Yet, they are singing the loudest. Lusaka play house is now famous for hosting atrist funerals than hosting artistic festivals. (This is not to say no artistic festivals take place there but the majority have been moved to other places)
I followed Limbani’s submission on HOT fm the other day and he hinted the following:
1. The gas station is a 25 year lease, after which Lusaka play house owners will take over.
2. Lusaka play house is not funded by government and is owned by a cooperative.
3. Lusaka play house has never been renovated since its establishment in 1947 (or there about)
4.. Hass Petroleum needed 31 parking slots from Lusaka Play house but in return offered to construct 108 more slots long Nasser Road.
5. The proceeds of this deal were meant to give Lusaka play house a facelift or construct a new one altogether
6. The project was approved by relevant authorities
7. The shareholders did vote and allowed for the deal
8. Part of the deal was that Hass employs artistes in their facilities at the new gas station.
One thing about me is that I don’t do kwalola umwela, the same way I looked at the mining in the Lower Zambezi independently is the way am looking at this issue. The problem we have in this country is that we react to issues based on emotions even before we confront the facts.
Artists will be employed as what by Hass?
Not everything is for sale. A few pieces of silver for our cultural heritage! Next they would demand to lease the presidential burial site for a golf course. We cannot allow constructions anywhere especially in animal habitats, nature reserves, or heritage sites. Yesterday it was the Woodlands Bird Sanctuary or Forest 27, today it’s the Lusaka Playhouse. What kind of human beings are we turning into? Haas can erect their fuel station where they wish to put up parking lots.