AFRO-FUSION star Jah Prayzah is involved in a nasty wrangle with a Filabusi-based promoter over an aborted Christmas eve show that failed to kick off.
The promoter is accusing Jah Prayzah, real name Mukudzeyi Mukombe, of receiving his appearance fee totalling US$6 500 but refused to go on stage citing curfew hours.
The show, dubbed Xmas Eve Special, was to be held at Scooter Joint along Bulawayo Road in Filabusi. It was advertised to kick off at 6pm on December 24. Advance tickets were going for US$10, and double that at the entrance. The VIP guests were set to pay US$40 per head.
However, this means Jah Prayzah was set to perfom until 9PM latest, as the current nationwide lockdown place a from 9PM to 6:00AM.
Jah Prayzah said his band met its end of the bargain and even arrived in Filabusi on time. Some misunderstanding arose which saw the promoter’s security details holding Jah Prayzah’s band hostage and even abusing them.
“Unfortunately this event could not proceed due to the promoter failing to live up to their end of the bargain as agreed despite us being in Filabusi on time.
“The worst thing is that they went on to hold my band hostage at their premises and instructed the security detail to abuse the band. They even wanted to force the band to perform beyond the curfew time. Sad day,” said Jah Prayzah, recounting the events in Filabusi.
There are previous incidents where musicians and promoters were arrested and even jailed for violating the country’s lockdown restrictions, and Jah Prayzah appeared mindful of that. Hence he insisted on not playing and cancelled the gig, angering the promoter who then held his band members hostage.
Observers say Zimbabwe’s musicians lack unity of purpose and must form a professional union to represent their interests in matters such as these. There are incidents artists have performed but failed to get paid the agreed dues.
Only few artistes in the country, including Jah Prayzah and Alick Macheso, get paid in advance by promoters.