Cracks have developed in Lusubilo Band as four key members have dumped it, accusing the band’s founder Chungja Agnes Kim of ill-treatment and poor living conditions at Lusubilo Music Centre.
This comes a few months after the centre’s manager Manaseh Chisiza tendered in his resignation for “personal reasons”.
But the four—Vincent Manyozo (drummer) from Blantyre, Abel Nyirenda (pianist), Dickson Kanyika (bassist) from Mzuzu and Thoko Chilaga (guitarist) from Lilongwe—resigned yesterday for what they described as “appalling living conditions”.
The four alleged that the school offers no formal education as it is expected. They said the students are training themselves just to keep the days going.
They also alleged ill-treatment, saying the South Korean founder uses demeaning words when addressing students.
However, Chungja denied the accusations, describing the four as home-sick young men whose resignations are motivated by money.
But Manyozo said: “We go there for education, but there is no formal education on offer. The school has no teachers. We just train ourselves.
“The food and accommodation are not good at all. We are treated like slaves there. Most of the students are braving all this for the love of the band. But we thought enough is enough.
“We are, however, thankful that we have seen nations, but to us dignity is paramount although we are poor.”
Manyozo said the situation at the music school is not as it is painted outside.
“We dedicate all our time and skills to the band, but they don’t meet our needs. For example, after a performance we are not given anything.
“Another example is that after saying bye she never offered us any transport,” said Manyozo.
Chungja, while begging this reporter to drop the story for the sake of her image, said the four are misfits who are not patient enough to reap dividends of their labour in years to come.
Chungja said the centre will be recruiting more students and teachers to fill the vacancies created.
“I think they are not suited to our project. They think they can make quick money out there, more especially after the exposure at Lake of Stars Festival.
“But they need patience if they are to reap good fruits. The problem is that they couldn’t wait—they are focused on money.
“I am disappointed that they are leaving because I invested a lot of money and love, but I have accepted it,” she said.
Lusubilo Music Centre was established in 2010 with resources Chungja mobilises from her home country to uplift the arts in the country. n