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THE performance on Saturday night by the cast of Umoja at the Victory Theatre, Johannesburg, was spectacular.
But two things spoilt it - the non-arrival of the special guest and the disrespectful patrons.
As a special tribute to the Kingdom of Swaziland and its liberation struggle, as well as a celebration of the 2010 World Cup, members of the Swaziland royal family joined fellow countrymen and women in the spirit of promoting tourism to their homeland.
But Queen Ntombi, who had been billed to attend, could not because of poor health. Her doctor advised her not to travel.
Swazi dancers and Umoja rendered beautiful performances, which were marred by ringing cellphones, loud conversations, shouting and unnecessary seat-swapping by patrons.
Despite the rowdy audience event organiser Sy Manana told Sowetan yesterday: "The event was an overwhelming success. Unfortunately the queen mother, who suffers from mild back complications. could not attend.
"Her doctor advised her not to travel since the cold weather could aggravate her condition.
"The theatre was packed. Doctor Khumalo, Lucas Radebe, Connie Ferguson and Sibongile Khumalo were in attendance and I was amazed to see just how multicultural the audience was, with both black and white gathered under one roof."
Big ups to the cast of Umoja, who smiled, sang and danced with phenomenal passion.