One of our 800 event ideas was the Katale..which was basically a modified garage sale.
This particular one came with an extra load of ‘durama.’ It started off pretty sane until it started raining hippos and elephants out of nowhere. We struggled to get things together.
Suddenly, there was tear gas in Nakawa (the area in which we were) and all this affected our numbers.
Nonetheless, we stayed as calm as we possibly could be under the circumstances. (Tears can be calm too, yes? Yes)
We had scheduled a few musician’s performances that day. As usual, we made noise promoting them before the event.
This particular one, *J asked for a transport allowance. When you have no money, even this can be hard to come by but we accepted,looked for it and sent it to him.
He was late and *Rachel kept calling him for updates on his whereabouts. He was ‘almost there’ for a while.
Finally, he arrived. I went over to his car devastated by the day’s events and trying extremely hard to remain poised. After exchanging pleasantries, he looked around and told me to have a seat in his car. I declined. I chose to stand outside as he sat.
He announced that after looking the crowd, he would not be perfoming that evening. My jaw dropped. I breathed in and out very consciously. “What made you come to this decision?, I probed as politely as humanly possible. “This crowd is too small,” he responded.
I explained to him that between attendees and my team we had over 100 people. He reiterated that the crowd was small. I asked him if he did private shows and his answer was affirmative. “What’s the difference?” I demanded, losing my patience. “Those are exclusive events in homes but here a reporter can take a picture and tomorrow it will be in the news that I performed to such a small crowd.
I went on to give him a mini-speech about how some things were more important in life, like keeping your word. I emphasized that he made us look bad because we promised an act and now we didn’t have one. After this, I realised he hadn’t changed his mind and I gave him my ‘blessing’ to leave.
Unrelated: One week later, his musical instrument of choice was stolen, at a church.
We would go on to make a loss of a little over 800,000 that night. I struggled to make this announcement. I was so used to sharing good news..but we needed to be transparent even when we had failed. It was difficult!
We shared the true figures anyway.
Months later my lovely friend, *Faith told me she had met someone and that they would soon exchange vows.
Excitedly, I asked how they met.
“The 4040 Katale, she responded with a smile.”