LOCAL Afro-jazz sensation Edith WeUtonga Katiji was on Saturday afternoon robbed at Small Street Mall in Johannesburg, South Africa and lost her yet to be released music that was on a memory card.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, the musician said although she was not injured, she lost her valuables.
“I was robbed after I was cornered by a group of six,” she said. “They took my Nokia Windows phone and R450. I asked for my memory card that had my forthcoming projects and a sim card, but they refused.”
Katiji said the robbers were most likely Zimbabwean as she heard them speak in Shona and Ndebele.
She said she was disturbed that none of the people at the mall came to her rescue as she was being harangued.
“It happened in broad daylight and many people witnessed it. But I could not get help from anyone as they pretended as if they were not seeing the scuffle,” she said.
“One of the guys spoke in Ndebele demanding my bag and I responded, then the other one in Shona saying I should give him my bag because it was not worth dying for.”
The musician’s Facebook account yesterday was awash with messages from friends consoling her after she posted about the incident.
“Got robbed in South Africa, the group of six looked me in the eye, spoke in my Zimbabwean languages, Ndebele and Shona, and dared me to scream…..my own brothers. Got no phone, sorry if you have been trying to get hold of me,” she wrote.
Playing an authentically Zimbabwean sound laced with jiti, chimurenga and Shona folk, Katiji released her debut 10-track album titled Utonga in 2010 that catapulted her into national fame.
She released her second album Kwacha in 2013. The singer has twice been nominated for and won the Best Female Musician at Zimbabwe’s premier Nama Awards, as well as the Zimbabwe Music Awards.
Katiji has performed at several festivals with her debut act being at the 2012 Intwasa Festival koBulawayo, 2013 Women in Jazz, Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) main stage act of 2012 as well as her Global Stage collaboration with Busi Ncube at the same festival in 2013.