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Chillspot apologises over Mbare gig after getting 6 month jail terms

Music promoter Dammer (Simbarashe Chanachimwe), DJ Fantan (Arnold Kamudyariwa) and Tafadzwa Kadzimwe (DJ Levels) were yesterday jailed for six months each for violating Covid-19 regulations.

DJ Fantan and Levels (Picture by TinPo Media)
DJ Fantan and Levels (Picture by TinPo Media)

This comes as a wake up call to other music promoters and artistes who were illegally hosting shows which were banned under Covid-19 restrictions.

The development saw some artistes cancelling or postponing their planned shows to avoid falling foul of the law.

The much-hyped “Getaway — Bushy Party” which was being marketed on social media where musicians EXQ, Tammy Moyo, Ammara Brown and Jah Prayzah were headlined to perform has been postponed.

The event was scheduled to take place from today till January 10 and according to the flyer it was exclusive for only 90 people.

Chillspot Records, where DJ Fantan and DJ Levelz work, apologised on social media, yesterday admitting they were wrong and have learnt a lesson.

“It is with great sadness and regret that we come to you our fans with news that our Chillspot Records management has been sentenced to six months behind bars because of participation in the New year’s Eve bash which was organised by Dammer.

“Firstly, we would like to apologise to our Government for not heeding the call not to host any shows on the 31st of December.

“We would also like to extend our apologies to our community for any risk of contracting this deadly coronavirus that we put you through. It is also important to note that we are very unsettled by the harsh judgment of six months because our executives are really not criminals, they are actually young men with a passion for entertainment.

“To our fans, we thank you for your support during this trying time. To our artistes the judgment has come in but it does not mean that the depot is also going behind bars.

“Our team will look into releasing the projects that were scheduled to come out before all this began. Let’s pray for a speedy release of our executive producers. #Sawa,” read the statement.

While it remains unclear who else actually played at the infamous gig in Mbare, a poster for the event billed Soul Jah Luv, Bounty Lisa, Silent Killer, Abisha Palmer, Dadza D, Hwindi President, Master H, Bazooka, DJ Cables, Ital Fire and Ginna Marina, among others.

Police are reported to be interested in interviewing all these artistes.

Meanwhile, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire added his voice over the incarceration of Dj Fantan, Levelz and Dammer.

“My prayers and thoughts go out to Fantan, Levelz and the entire Chillspot family. These young men have been very influential in the music industry. They have helped identify various talents, Enzo Ishall, Uncle Epaton, Herman to name just a few. The work they do at Chillspot is going a long way in creating employment for the ghetto youths and alleviating poverty among the ghetto youth.

“I am glad that the law took its course and rightfully. However, my wish would have been for a lenient sentence given that they admitted to their crime.”

The deputy minister said the trio’s influence would go a long way in creating awareness among ghetto youths on the reality that is Covid-19.

“My wish would have been for them to serve community service by giving back to the community in the form of awareness campaigns, using the power of music to educate the public. I fear that if they are locked up for long, it will undo the good they are doing for the ghetto youths.” The Herald

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