Brandy performs to a crowd of 40 in a stadium that seats 90,000 in Soweto, Johannesburg
According to reports on Twitter, this past weekend was not good for Brandy's comeback. On Saturday the singer performed at Soweto's Soccer City to a crowd of 40 people — in a stadium which seats 90,000. After just two songs, Brandy walked off the stage, presumably embarrassed and fed up.
First reports of the debacle came via South African musician Kabomo who tweeted: "lol. I have no words for what I have just witnessed" "Brandy [just] performed to an empty stadium. With the stadium lights on." Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of people had filled the stadium for the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day. Billed only as a "surprise guest," festivalgoers were not told that Brandy was set to play, and they trickled out during performances by David Jenkins, Elvis Blue, Salif Keita and D'Banj. By the end, one tweet announced, "Brandy [was] performing for the chairs!"
The issue, it seems, was not with Brandy — who has been to SA before at the invitation of Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula (another trip plagued by controversy) — but with logistics and publicity. A number of concertgoers complained about poor production, staging and sound. "They disrespected and frustrated us as fans. Sound quality, production and structure of the concert were questionable." To add insult to injury SABC, the national TV channel, ended their broadcast of the concert before Brandy had even reached the stage. Neither Brandy nor the concert promoters have commented on the gig. But, in the words of her "rival" Monica, we're gonna encourage Brandy not to take it personal.