In order to raise a lot of money at events such as bridal showers, engagement ceremonies, weddings and send-offs, some directors of ceremonies have become insensitive in coercing people to give more.
Generally, a master of ceremony (MC) is paid 10 percent of whatever is raised during an event, hence, will strive to raise as much as he/she can to get more money.
At one event, an MC ‘fined’ a certain pastor pay for not gracing the event with his wife, unknown to him that the pastor was widowed.
Fines or coercion has become the order of events by MCs, including singling out people wearing certain attires or what they are to give prescribed amounts of money- much to the humiliation of both the called out and those deemed unworthy for not being considered as givers.
Southern Region Masters of Ceremonies (MCs) Association chairperson Marvis Kabuthu argued that MCs generally have varying talents and some do things just to drive morale.
“We all consider finding marriage as God’s Grace so, yes, sometimes we might say, ‘all those that have been blessed with marriages, come to the front and give’. But all that is done just for fun. MCs assume that everyone who comes to the events has a little something to give the couple,” she says.
Kabuthu maintains that MCs, just as Disk Jockeys (DJs), event decorators and caterers are important and should equally be given whatever amount of money they demand from organisers.
“Our efforts to negotiate for a flat figure often do not yield anything. Every time we suggest a figure, organisers say we are too expensive and opt for the 10 percent. There are many ways to increase the 10 percent we get and we have to engage all these techniques,” says Kabuthu, while hinting that the percentage they demand is likely to get higher soon.
Sociologist Charles Chilimampunga notes that such events are celebrations and that it is not right to put guests in awkward positions when they do not have money.
“These things can be embarrassing. It is clear that MCs are trying to raise funds, but sometimes they go overboard, putting others in difficult positions. I don’t think it is appropriate. Guests need to enjoy the celebration even if they do not have money.
“It is alright if they call on people in groups such as people from the male or female’s side of the family because then, one can just go and dance along in the crowd even if they do not have money, unlike specifying in terms of what one is wearing and such other things. These functions have to be fun for everyone, with or without money,” says Chilimampunga.