Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Payment row scuttles urban grooves show

An urban grooves show that had been set for the on-going Intwasa Arts Festival was scuttled after musicians refused to accept payment of US$75 and two crates of beer each.

According to Bulawayo Musicians’ Association chairman Khulekani “Khuxman” Bhethule, the much hyped Urban Grooves Night that had been billed to feature local singers was dropped over disagreement over payment.

“It’s true that there were some discussions between Intwasa and the artistes but they could not settle on an agreeable fee,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Bhethule wrote: “If it is published that the festival has a number of sponsors so for them (musicians) to be told the same ‘akulamali’ (no money) story again, it doesn’t go down well with the young musicians. On the other hand, I would like to warn the young musicians not to be too hungry\greedy for money and end up charging exorbitant performing fees which they’ve charged before.

“In this instance there was supposed to be an Urban Grooves Night for the young artistes but due to a misunderstanding over the issue of money between the artistes and the organisers the event had to be cancelled.”

Some of the musicians who were approached to perform include Samazaza, Mchezznana, Zibozi, Gregory, Chetsi, Likhwa, Hlisto, Cadder, Mavutete and POY.

Intwasa director Raisedon Baya said they only had US$500 budgeted for the Urban Grooves Night.

“We wanted to have 10 musicians performing two songs each but we couldn’t afford what they wanted as they were demanding US$500 each for performing just two songs,” he said.

Baya said paying them with two crates of beer was part of an arrangement they had with Delta Beverages.

“Delta felt that to get more mileage for their sponsorship they will give us vouchers of their products that will form part of payment for the performers on the Chibuku Stage.

“There are other performing artistes that were also be given the vouchers,” he added.