One week after South African Afro-pop artist Mlindo’s last engagement in Malawi, the singer is stuck in the country as he is yet to be paid by his local contractors.
The artist, popularly known as Mlindo, The Vocalist, came to Malawi under the auspices of a local entertainment stable Nthanda Artworks in partnership with R ‘n’ B musician Kell Kay.
It is reported that the two parties agreed a K4 million deal which entailed two performances for the South African, the first on December 26 at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe and the last one Comesa Hall in Blantyre the following day.
But due to flight connection problems, Mlindo failed to arrive in the country on time and missed the show. The development left fans frustrated as they were only informed of his failure to perform halfway through the show.
After Mlindo’s Comesa outing, the organisers arranged a ‘make-up’ show at Mingles in Lilongwe as compensation for his failure to perform on December 26.
However, a source close to Mlindo, who opted for anonymity, said disagreements emerged when his contractors told him they could no longer honour the remaining sum and accused him of breach of contract.
At the moment, Nthanda Artworks, represented by its director Evans Chibade and Kell Kay are in a blame game over the issue.
Chibade insists Mlindo breached the contract; hence, does not deserve to get the balance.
He said: “Mlindo’s time management was disappointing. He missed his flight. It ruined the show and cost us heavily.
“He missed his performance in Lilongwe and only performed in Blantyre. The amount we paid as an initial payment is enough for the Blantyre show and the damage he caused.”
But Kell Kay blamed his partners and accused them of backing off on their agreement. The artist said the Nthanda Artworks team was hesitant to release money for the deal from the first minute.
“As I am speaking, I have spent over K4 million on this deal. I paid for the air tickets, the venues and I have been responsible for the accommodation of the three visiting members until now. My partners only contributed K800 000 for the initial payment we made to Mlindo,” he said.
Kell Kay said the best way was to cancel the shows after the initial flight glitch.
The artist said he has been trying to organise some small shows for the South African to sustain his stay in Malawi as he tries to work out a final solution.
He said: “I am paying over K150 000 daily for the two apartments the team is staying in Area 43. That is besides food and drinks. It is a shame that the Nthanda Artworks guys are nowhere to be seen. It is really tough for me.”
Our efforts to talk directly to Mlindo were not succesful as both parties refused to give us his contact numbers.
Apart from paying Mlindo, the organisers are also yet to pay a number of local acts engaged for the two shows dubbed Fill Up Bicc and Comesa.