It was third time unlucky for the Northern Arts Awards on Saturday after a double booking of the venue meant the event started five hours late.
The third edition of the annual awards had been scheduled to start at 6pm at Francistown’s Adansonia Hotel.
However, a mix up in bookings meant embarrassed organisers were forced to hastily arrange a makeshift venue, in the form of a tent on the hotel’s lush lawns.
When the event finally began at 11pm, the majority of the audience had left, with those remaining mostly made up of the various nominees.
Apologising for the inconvenience and delayed start, event organiser Lionel Nkosi told the 70 or so hardy souls who remained, “We are sincerely sorry to have hosted the ceremony in a tent but it was due to circumstances beyond our control.
“We booked for the hall but it seems like others had already booked it from Thursday to Sunday so will not be able to use it,” he told his unimpressed audience as they shivered unhappily in the chilly, damp Ghetto evening.
Attempting to find some positives from a miserable night, Nkosi revealed that since the first awards in 2015, the event has evolved drastically and now offers prizes in 28 different categories compared to 12 at the inaugural show.
“Our aim is to embrace every arts genre, to unearth talent and also become something that can contribute to the economy.
“The objective behind these awards is to brand and to honour our artists. It was not an easy journey to get funding but we managed, with the help of our members of parliaments,” said Nkosi, nodding towards the MP trio of Buti Billy, Ignatius Moswaane and Wynter Mmolotsi, who all attended the event, which eventually finished at 3am.