Mai Titi’s Tanzanian trip to regret
By Mthabisi Tshuma
In September last year, we reported that Zimbabwean social media sensation Mai Titi (real name Felistas Edwards) and Congolese soukous superstar Awilo Longomba were to be united in what was to be their first acting gig.
The two had been cast for a movie titled A Life to Regret that was to be filmed by United Kingdom-based production house, BJB Films (Billy Jeremiah Brown Films).
Congolese BJB Films founder, Leo Brown, who had been scouting for local talent, had been charmed by Mai Titi’s talent which he felt was not being explored fully, explaining why she got the role.
“I recently spoke to Mai Titi about the film and she gladly agreed to be part of it. I also wanted Pokello to join the cast and we’re yet to reach an agreement, same applies with Ammara Brown.
“We’re also calling on other Zimbabwean actors to come on board and help us showcase their talent,” Brown told Chronicle Showbiz at the time.
An excited Mai Titi also told this publication last September that: “It’s an amazing opportunity because these guys are gurus in the industry especially considering that they’ve worked with likes of Akon. I’m very excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to be part of the project. This is one of the greatest achievements and I promise to bring my A-game.”
Fast forward to March 2021, despite the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the arts industry, the movie’s production seemed to be on track with Brown and Mai Titi both confirming that production would soon commence in Tanzania.
And true to their words, later that month, Mai Titi travelled to Tanzania and on April 1, shooting of A Life to Regret commenced in Dar-es-Salaam.
When followers saw Awilo being welcomed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, excitement reached fever pitch as they were convinced that a top-notch production was on its way. Both BJB Films and Mai Titi constantly took to social media to update their followers on the proceedings that left many impatiently waiting for the scheduled release of the production.
Release of the production was earmarked for July or August this year.
In a concerning twist of events, Mai Titi’s followers as well as movie lovers who were upbeat about the production on Tuesday, woke up to shocking news that Mai Titi had been axed from the production “due to lack of professionalism”.
“It’s sad to announce that we had to terminate Mai Tt’s role and replaced her with Angel Mary Kato due to lack of professionalism on set and while living and working with other celebrities as well as the crew.
“We love Zimbabweans that’s why we picked someone from Zimbabwe but unfortunately, we could not continue with her,” read a statement that was issued by BJB Films.
A great shocker this was for many.
After reading this statement, many started quizzing what went wrong?
Hours after the release of that statement, it seems the drama around Mai Titi’s sudden exclusion could make a way better production than the one BJB Films are working on because of the confrontations and exposés.
On her part, Mai Titi cited lack of payment, food and sexual abuse as her reasons for pulling out of the production.
When Chronicle Showbiz contacted Mai Titi on Tuesday morning, she was itching to bare it all.
“I pulled out of the film because there was no money that I was being paid during my stay there (Tanzania). BJB is a liar and criminal who looks for people with fame to use to make money.
“There was a time that he wanted me to pay US$10 000 for a collaboration with Awilo and Sean Paul,” said Mai Titi.
She went on to suck Awilo into the mess.
“Awilo shouldn’t be allowed into Zimbabwe because he’s a criminal. They (Awilo and BJB) were abusing women in the cast and as a women’s advocate, I stood my ground. I want to take this matter to the British Embassy,” said Mai Titi.
Brown, on the other hand said they could not work with Mai Titi because of her unprofessionalism.
“Mai Titi was unprofessional. When on set, she’d start going live (on social media platforms) showing people what we were doing yet the film was supposed to be exclusive,” said Brown.
Quashing Mai Titi’s sexual abuse claims, Brown alleged that Mai Titi started being dramatic after Awilo refused to be intimate with her.
“She wanted to have sex with Awilo by force and when Awilo refused, she started to say she was being abused. Mai Titi did not come to act, but she came to see Awilo from the way she did her things,” said a furious Brown.
Responding to claims that he did not pay Mai Titi, Brown said: “We had agreed on a contract of a percentage where I covered all the expenses including air tickets, transport and food. Everything we agreed on was provided.”
As the drama continues to unfold, producers may want to consider changing their storyline and include all this drama that has been entertaining locals for the past couple of hours. The Chronicle