When The 2 Broke Twimbos snuck into the Babyface & Toni Braxton Show
It was a dark Friday night, thanks to ZESA. Tired of being stuck at Casa De Broke and playing “I spy” in pitch black darkness – Dan & Phil decided to hop on their unicycle and peddle furiously to the Borrowdale race course where American R&B legends Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Toni “Tonderai” Braxton had somehow been convinced to perform in Harare.
Zimbabwe was abuzz with hype surrounding the event and everyone was checking for loose change under the cushion or washing cars at the traffic lights in an attempt to try and secure the funds to purchase tickets for the event. The hype grew as the event drew closer and things reached a fever pitch once open letters and open letters responding to open letters found their way onto social media. It was all very entertaining.
Though Babyface and Toni are beloved in Zimbabwe, the biggest concern was ticket pricing. With tickets ranging from $40-$150 this was no “cheap date”. Upon arriving at the venue it was clear the majority of Zimbabwean fans could not afford the prices. Oddly enough the VVIP section ($150 tickets) was at capacity . However the VIP and General Access areas were embarrassingly empty. So empty in fact that towards the end of the show security gave up and opened the gate that restricted the general access fans from entering the VIP section. Even after the majority of the crowd moved closer to the stage to enjoy their free upgrade the VIP section was still far below 50% capacity.
The distance between the VVIP section which was right by the stage and the general access area was astronomical . The people that bought the cheap tickets might as well have listen to the show from the car park. The dilapidated fencing that cordoned them off looked more like a prison camp than a section where paying customers where situated. They were so far from the stage the only way they could actually see what happened on stage was via a giant screen set up towards the back of the VIP section.
Performance wise both the artists delivered incredible sets. Babyface reminded us why he is one of the world’s most respected song writers and producers, taking us on a nostalgic ride through his numerous hits. Toni Braxton lived up to the hype and she delivered a solid performance despite a myriad of sound and mic issues that frustrated her throughout her performance. She also seemed to be nursing a flu. Besides that she still shut it down and had Dan in a frenzy as he recited every lyric of “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me” with tears in his eyes.
The highlights of the night were when both performers got the crowd involved. Babyface walked through the VVIP section and allowed those who could afford the pricy tickets the chance to touch his garment. Toni Braxton took it a step further and invited several attendees on stage to perform and dance with her to several tracks. She also invited a couple on stage and serenaded them while everyone else looked on with a great deal of contempt and jealousy.
All in all it was a great night and despite the multitude of empty seats in the house Toni and Baby delivered in a big way. In about 9 months Zimbabwe will be sure to experience a baby boom as a direct result of the sultry musings delivered on the night.