London. (News of The South) Phab Entertainment the company behind the recent Mapfumo/Macheso gig have failed to pay Chimurenga artist Thomas Mapfumo and band who gave a brilliant performance at the Athena in Leicester on Saturday.
Joab Mugugu and Phil Wakabikwa (Phab) have tossed the Zimbabwean music star left right and centre lying about bringing the payment. Prior to the performance they had signed an agreement where one of them had given Mapfumo’s management a car as security should they fail to pay. Apparently the car is valued at 600 pounds. The amount still outstanding is £1900, at the time of writing Mapfumo had only been paid £2000.
The shocking part is Mapfumo’s team were kept waiting for the payment all day Monday, promoters had promised to bring the money at 3pm BST. Approximately 2000 people attended the show so the promoters could have pocketed £60 000 but it is not clear why they are not paying off the £1900 to settle Mapfumo’s balance. Contacted by News of The South Monday night Wakabikwa said the payment would be taken to Mapfumo but failed to confirm it would he done Monday night or Tuesday before the flight.
They never showed up and up to this morning the promoters have not been to see Mapfumo and his team. When contacted via telephone by Mapfumo they stated they were at work.
Phab did not have money for the tickets to fly the artists into the UK and had to borrow money from UK based Zimbabweans with less than 48 hours left for the show to kick off. Several people including Yvonne Mashonganyika assisted them with funds to fly the artists into the UK.
On the day of the show, Saturday they had not paid for the venue so ended up paying for the venue from the door takings. (There were no advance tickets so fans paid cash at the door).
When the promoters realised Macheso would not make it they failed to announce that Macheso would no longer be part of the gig as they wanted people to attend. However Macheso’s management had issued a press statememt announcing they would not be flying into the UK as paperwork was not done in time.
Artists and fans have criticised Phab for failing to plan their events properly, they were also responsible for the chaos at the Tocky vibes first UK show which saw thousands of fans attend at a small venue in Leicester city. Had they sold advance tickets it would have given them an indication that their chosen venue was not suitable. They would have had ample time to change to venue. At the leicester Tocky vibes show they had two security officers who failed to cope with the agitated crowd. At the Dunstable show the very next day they still had two security officers and ine wonders why they didn’t go back to the drawing board after the previos day’s chaos.
Mapfumo and band are due to fly out of the UK this afternoon and from the look of things they will leave without their payment.
Fans expressed their disappointment with Phab Entertainment who failed to reduce the ticket prices when Macheso failed to make it for the weekend gig. Mapfumo however ended up performing for a longer time and for all his efforts Phab are not interested in paying off the balance.
According to Mapfumo’s management Phab also failed to book hotels for Mapfumo and the band and family members ended uo doing the bookings.
Some of Mapfumo’s fans have suggested they would raise money to ensure the artist and band get their payment following an action packed performance on Saturday.
Full story on what happened about flight tickets and all hiccups of the show to follow:
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