Two weeks after this year’s finals, Mzuzu-based Pamulonga Band, who emerged winners of the Chibuku Road to Fame last year claim they have not received their prize money.
However, both the organisers, Musician Union of Malawi (MUM) and the sponsors Chibuku Products Limited have dismissed the group, accusing them of lacking seriousness.
“As winners, the agreement was that they are supposed to assist us with an album recording and promotion to the point that we received national recognition, but the company is not doing that. They delayed giving us recording money and now they are also failing to promote our album, this is very sad,” said Nyirenda.
The band leader said they have been visiting Chibuku offices on several occasion to remind them about their commitment, but nothing has materialised.
“As winners, we did not expect this treatment. They made an obligation to what we are claiming. Why should we be knocking on their door on the issue they budget to fulfill as if we are begging? This is unfair,” he said.
Musician Union of Malawi (MUM) treasurer Young Chilanga, who is also the project coordinator for the annual music competition, blames the band leader for lacking seriousness.
“All along they have been silent on the issue. I am surprised that they are complaining now when new winners have been crowned. I feel they should not blame anyone for their negligence, this is 2014 and they are 2013 winners,” said Chilanga.
On his part, Chibuku Products Limited marketing manager Timothy Sukali said it is the band’s fault as they failed to submit their recorded album to the company in time.
“Of course, we delayed a bit to give them the K300 000 (US$723) for the album recording. However, the band stayed for seven months without the album. We were expecting to receive the album in July last year, but they delayed and submitted it in May this year. Nevertheless, we are playing their songs in our special radio programme Chibuku Happy Hour,” said Sukali.
Sukali further blamed the band for lacking direction, having failed to submit a copy of their programme for their promotional activities for his company for funding.
“We asked them to forward us their programme of activities but they failed to do that. The band seems to lack good administration. I heard the band leader is no longer with the band as he has relocated to Karonga,” added Sukali.
Andiamo Band from Balaka are the newly crowned 2014 Chibuku Road to Fame champions and are said to be given K1 million (US$2409) cash prize and K400 000 (US$964) recording deal.