Half an hour before we went on air for the late edition of #theTrend last Friday, my long-suffering producer, Kevin Gitau, received a text message that Nigerian guest Timaya had cancelled his appearance on this peasant’s show.
Never mind that we had a contract with the organisers of BBQ Live, where he would be performing the next day. “Nothing of value was lost,” I later remarked on air while explaining why he wouldn’t be showing up.
I wasn’t just being savage because of sour grapes, I honestly didn’t know who Timaya was. The always entertaining Kenyan group, The Kansoul, even teased me about it on the show just a fortnight ago.
It wasn’t the first time a guest had changed their mind about coming on the show at the last minute. It wasn’t even the first time a Nigerian guest had confirmed that they would come in for an interview, only to drop out at the eleventh hour.
It comes with the territory and we’ve learnt to quickly reorganise the broadcast when that happens because we are live and the show must go on. There was the time Flavour ran into trouble with Immigration on his arrival in the country and threw a great big fit.
Gospel singer Sinach apparently refused to leave her room when it was time to head out to Nation Centre and she couldn’t be convinced otherwise. Meh, I always respond when I hear of these tantrums and promptly move on.
To be fair, it’s not just Nigerian stars who do this but they are more temperamental than any other nationality we have dealt with over the years. The stories of the divas and prima donnas with pidgin accents my team have could fill a book.
Days before Timaya’s non-event, there was Burna Boy’s objectively underwhelming performance at a club in Westlands. Fans complained that they had to wait until 4am, only for the Nigerian artiste to give a lacklustre show.
The morning after, Twitter was ungovernable as Kenyans called him out and some demanded back the Sh1,500 they had paid as gate charges. He was abusive and immature and blocked anybody whose tweets he didn’t appreciate.