We don’t owe you a penny; your shows made a loss: Promoter tells Mapfumo
MUSIC promoter and Entertainment Republic director Max Mugaba, who was promoting Thomas Mapfumo’s Peace Tour shows since December 2018, has denied allegations that he swindled the Chimurenga music legend.
Mapfumo recently alleged that his former publicist Blessing Vava and Mugaba connived to fleece him of proceeds from his shows.
Mapfumo said Vava together with Mugaba “disappeared with the money” after every show. He even threatened to sue Mugaba once he is settled back in America.
Mugaba, on the other hand, is saying that the shows actually made a loss and blamed this on the country’s economic woes.
According to the contract between Mugaba’s Entertainment Republic and Mapfumo’s Chimurenga Music Company (CMC), the two companies would share the ‘net profit with Mukanya due to get 75% and Mugaba 25%.’
The companies would also share the losses in the event that this happened.
Speaking to the Standard, Mugaba said: “From my side, I met all my obligations. I feel for him as a musician who may not understand the management side of events, and I understand there are people who have surrounded him and influenced him to sideline his original band members.
“I was surprised that at the Glen Lorne house where we were renting for him, there were now many people going there, with some even staying there.
“I have great respect for Mapfumo, mudhara wedu [he is our old man]. Remember when he came in April, we did his show and I paid him $55 000 in hard currency, so there is no way I would fleece him, why would I do that?”
The arrangement was that the shows would pay for themselves, and it did not happen as expected because of the economic problems in the country. At one show I had also suggested that they do not continue to perform, realising it would be a loss, but Mudhara insisted.
This was confirmed by Mukanya’s manager Austin Sibanda who told The Standard: “We have the documentation that shows there was actually a loss. We have had a great working relationship with Mugaba and I can confirm that instead, we actually owe him money, not the other way round.”
Meanwhile, Chimurenga music legend Mapfumo, smarting from being cleaned dry of proceeds from his Peace Tour shows around Zimbabwe by promoters, has delayed his trip back home in the United States by at least a week so that he holds a “farewell gig” with Sulumani Chimbetu in Harare, ZOOMZimbabwe can reveal.
The show is set for Friday 15 February, and is dubbed the ‘Valentine’s Concert.”