AMERICAN R&B sensation Toni Braxton brew a shocker on Wednesday evening, keeping Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and South African ambassador Vusi Mavimbela waiting at the Maestro Restaurant where they had been scheduled to have a business dinner, NewsDay can reveal.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Braxton touched down at the Harare International Airport on Wednesday night and will perform at the Borrowdale Racecourse alongside the iconic musician-cum-producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. Babyface arrived in Harare yesterday afternoon in a cloud of secrecy as it had been indicated that he would land at night.
Fans will have to fork out $40 for the ordinary ticket, $100 for VIP and $150 for VVIP tickets to see the pair perform live.
NewsDay established yesterday that Braxton – who had kept a very low profile since her arrival – was scheduled to have dinner with Mzembi and Mavimbela together with other officials, but did not turn up due to undisclosed “commitments”.
Although Mzembi was not reachable yesterday, show organiser Bennie Bismark did not respond to the questions emailed to her regarding the dinner, although she indicated she had seen the questions and would respond.
“Can you phone me after five minutes? I have seen your email,” she said, but was no longer picking up calls.
A source privy to the developments told this newspaper that Steward Bank had organised the dinner for the musician that would have probably seen her appearing in public for the first time since her arrival in the country.
“Several respected guests, among them Mzembi and the South African ambassador, were made to wait at the restaurant anticipating Toni would arrive but they left disappointed as she never showed up,” the source said.
“A local group, Soul Africa, however, saved the day for Braxton as they put up a sterling performance that was a marvel to watch.”
This was the latest in a series of glitches to the highly anticipated tour after the musician’s planned visit to a Chitungwiza children’s home and the Victoria Falls were cancelled at the last minute in unclear circumstances.
A press conference that had been scheduled for Tuesday was also cancelled.
Although Braxton had been “locked up” in her hotel room, she had been enjoying glimpses of Harare. She posted an aerial “sunset” picture of part of Harare’s central business district on her Twitter account (Toni Braxton @tonibraxton), and wrote “Loving Zimbabwe”.