The aborted coming of exotic dancer Zodwa Wabantu has cost Myuziki Pusha Entertainment K6 million, it has emerged.
The South African was expected to host the Winter Amapiano Vibes slated for tomorrow at The Dominics Hotel in Nyambadwe, Blantyre. Her no-show follows an order from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife prohibiting her from entering Malawi.
Myuziki Pusha Entertainment director Biggie Lu said the terms and agreements of the contract with Zodwa included the K6 million appearance fee which is non-refundable.
“What happens is that when these artists are being booked they also have some people looking for their services. The understanding is that they prioritise you over the others. If they were to return that money it would be a loss of business for them,” he said.
Biggie Lu, born Lumuli Mwamondwe, admitted that many local event organisers take things for granted by not following procedures when engaging an artist and subsequent promotion of the show.
He said: “Procedurally, we are supposed to seek the permit first. It is just that event organisers overlook this important step. We are talking of eventualities whereby a visiting artist is attacked or dies while here, in that case the government has to come in.”
While not accepting liability for the eventual loss he has incurred, Biggie Lu said he has entered into discussions with the ministry to work out the issue. On Wednesday he had an audience with Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi.
Usi confirmed meeting the event promoter, saying he felt duty bound to have a word with Biggie Lu to come to a common understanding.
“We are not against him as a person. If he brings another artist we will fully support him. But this is an industry which has its protocols in place which need to be followed to the letter. Everyone cannot be doing things willy-nilly and then say we will make progress. No!,” the minister said.
The ministry said it withheld permit to allow Zodwa perform in Malawi after reviewing the application in the context of the concerns regarding her controversial stage acts.
They said Zodwa as a stage artist has built her career and fame around morally degrading acts which include performing in scanty underwear, removing her underwear and flaunting her nudity.
However, the promoters of the show have proceeded to host the event which will be headlined by South African amapiano star Vukani and Nigerian Soul Barbie.
“We are hopeful that we will deliver an event to meet the expectations of the people. Our focus now is on delivering a memorable event,” said Biggie Lu.