Of Mukanya’s Refusal To Play Without Getting Paid

The news is awash with Chimurenga legend Thomas Mafumo’s refusal to perform in the UK without getting his money.

Thomas Mapfumo insists on being paid what he is owed

Thomas Mapfumo insists on being paid what he is owed

What happened was that, at a gig in Leicester this past weekend Mukanya as he is known to his fans refused to get on stage without getting his money up front. The promoters then promised him that he would be paid in full after the series of gigs.

The legend refused, then after some negotiations he played for less than an hour. His fans were angry. Many were angry with him for refusing to go ahead with the gig while some understood his position.

We can understand those who were angry because they had paid to get in. Fair play to them. But don’t be angry at Mukanya. His terms and conditions are that he will perform only when he has been paid. Given the Zimbabwean artist’s history of dealing with bogus Zimbabwean promoters you can understand why. He doesn’t want the hassle of being given the run-around when it is time to pay.

To be perfectly honest, how many of those guys would be able to get a reputable American or British act on stage before money was in hand or in a specified account? Expecting Mukanya to do three gigs without seeing his money is rubbish.

Frankly speaking, it is an insult to the artist. Don’t get it twisted, Mukanya is the biggest investor in his music. He works hard on his act. That he should expect to be paid in advance, a fraction of the amount of time and money he has actually put into the act is not unreasonable. He simply wants a return on investment. For  a legend of his stature it is the only way to do business, the only way to respect his craft.

These promoters need to start getting their act together. There is no free ride. This is business.

  • lembacongo@gmail.com

    If you’re dealing with these fly by night and bogus Zimbabwean promoters, it’s good to always get your fee before you perform. But I’ve heard Mapfumo does the same to his musicians too. I think members of his band should also come out and speak the truth about how Mapfumo is always tricking them about their fees – even when he gets paid himself. No one is better here.

    • Two separate issues but we get your point

      • lembacongo@gmail.com

        Haiwawo, whatever, you seem to want commentators to spk your language. I don’t think it’s two separate issues at all. It doesnt make it right but he should start treating his fellow musicians good. Mapfumo, charity begins at home, fact. Ndaenda..