Urban grooves musician Trevor Dongo last week joined the growing list of artists who have been promised milk and honey only to be left hanging by dubious promoters who fail to pay them on time (if at all) in South Africa.
Dongo, who is one of the pioneers of the urban grooves genre, made passionate pleas to friends asking for bus fare to go back home after a performance. He was part of the crew that took part in the highly-publicized 263 Nights Urban Legends Festival held at the prestigious Rex Lounge in Sandton on 29 September 2017. A week later he was still stuck and stranded.
The events are run by Batsie Masvinge, an artist manager-turned-promoter. Masvinge manages Nox Guni among his other artists.
In Whatsapp chats seen by this paper, Dongo makes an impassioned plea to the promoter to pay him his dues as he was already falling behind on his rentals back in Zimbabwe.
“Ndeipi wangu, chingondiudza chokwadi kana zvakatovharana ndigare ndaziva coz ma1 andiri haasi kukuaffector in any way, right now I am all here stranded let me look for a plan ndidzokere kuden pane kuramba ndakatarisira pasina chiri kubuda, I’m not enjoying kugara kuno but reason why I’m still here is because ndanga ndakatomirirawo iwewe, rega nditsvage plan ndigare ndaenda coz to you I am nothing but a nag,” pleads Trevor Dongo in one of the chats.
He was further worried that his days were expiring which could have left him with an overstay which results in a travel ban to South Africa. After a barrage of messages sent from very early in the morning till very late at night, Masvinge then responded.
“Hi bro eish ma one. The shoot I was at they paying tomorrow 8am so that’s when I can send (the money) to you. They only told me when I finished. My hands are really tied up bro. Tomorrow I can even do Western Union,” said Masvinge.
It is believed some of the artists who took part in the event like Maskiri were also not paid. Dongo, could not be reached for comment yesterday as he had not returned messages on both his Zimbabwean and South African line.
The promoter insisted the leaks are works of jealous fellow promoters who want to see his downfall.
“I did have the balance for the Port Elizabeth show which was cancelled and I have sorted him. You see the story started with people saying artists are stuck, then in the end Trevor was not paid. Why wouldn’t I pay Trevor of all the 7 artists who performed. It’s crazy bro,” said Masvinge yesterday. He added artists such as Sani Makhalima, Roki and Mafriq were all paid and were happy.
“Just for your info. We are even planning our next show with Trevor. I am taking him to Perth, Australia on 2 December and Brisbane after. Doing visas this week. This is an artist I have been working with and I am doing all I can to help and uplift,” added Masvinge .
Last month, dancehall crooner Maggikal was also left hanging in Pretoria after another “promoter” failed to even give him money to go back home. Others on the list include comedian Bhutisi and Guspy Warrior who were stuck for days in Cape Town earlier this year. In most such incidents the artists just leave Zimbabwe for South Africa without having been paid a deposit, let alone have a contract in place.