Nyore Madzianike Senior Arts Reporter
ORGANISERS of the flopped Mafikizolo Back in Town Concert held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) last Friday have been accused of failing to pay full performance fees to local supporting acts, with some of them refusing to play before receiving payment.
Proma Events, who were behind the much-hyped show, also failed to pay some service providers, resulting in their representative, Blessing Jeke, being manhandled on the night of the gig.
Diamond Musica, Andy Muridzo and Gemma Griffiths did not play after the organisers failed to pay them ahead of the concert.
Jeke could neither confirm nor deny failing to meet his financial obligations.
“I do not have a comment on that,” he said.
“Just write what you have heard. I am tired of these stories. I am on my way to South Africa.”
Diamond Musica leader Pitshou Lumiere said they did not take to the stage as there was no guarantee that they would receive their payment after the performance.
“We did not want to go on stage without the promoter paying us the money that we had agreed on,” he said.
“We wanted to avoid a situation where we would perform and start having problems getting our payment.
“We once had the same problem with the promoter who brought Fally Ipupa and that promoter has not paid us up to this day.”
Pitshou said the Mafikizolo show promoter paid him US$100 before the cancelled September 5 concert and promised to settle the balance before Friday’s performance.
“We had agreed on a flat fee and we were the first band to arrive at HICC, while other bands arrived at around midnight,” he said. “We realised that the promoter did not have the money, so there was no way we could have played without receiving our money.”
Pitshou could not disclose how much they had agreed on.
Andy Muridzo complained of poor planning on the promoter’s side and left the HICC gig to perform at Las Vegas in Southerton.
“They said we were supposed to start performing at 10pm and we waited until 11:30pm,” he said. “We then left without performing for another show at Las Vegas.”
AMadhuve Sasha had no kind words for the show organisers after enduring a nightmarish stage performance.
“The PA system was just bad,” she said.
“The sound on stage was pathetic and the lights were going out. It took forever for the PA system guys to finish working on sound and by 2330hrs they were still rigging speakers and all bands were waiting to play.
“The delay in starting disappointed many revellers and they left the venue.”