ORGANISERS of the recently held One Unity Reggae Tour headlined by Jamaican dancehall artistes, Turbulence and Mega Banton as well as Ghanaian music star, Episode have come under fire for failing to pay the artistes, NewsDay has established.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ VANESSA GONYE
The One Unity Reggae Tour, which saw the musicians performing in Kwekwe, Bulawayo and Harare, featuring an array of local acts, was organised by Red Fox Entertainment in partnership with Pacific Storm.
Some of the artistes (names withheld) who opened up to NewsDay accused the tour organiser, Robert Zhuwao of Red Fox Entertainment, of flouting contractual agreements and failing to pay them their dues despite getting the money from the chief sponsor, Pacific Storm.
NewsDay is reliably informed that Pacific Storm partnered, with Zhuwao for the tour, in an endeavour to push their products to the reggae/dancehall market.
Sources privy to the developments told NewsDay yesterday that Turbulence and Mega Banton left the country “empty handed”, as they were threatened with deportation if they had continued pestering Zhuwao for payments.
“There was a nasty fallout between Robert Zee (Zhuwao) and the Jamaican music promoter Dave of Yard 1 Promote, who was contracted to bring the Jamaican artistes, Turbulence and Mega Banton for the One Unity Reggae Tour,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
“Zhuwao refused to pay the Jamaican promoter his share of the three shows held during the Easter and Independence Day holidays.
“The Jamaican artistes said they agreed to come to Zimbabwe without receiving any deposit on a prearrangement with Zhuwao that they would get paid a certain percentage of the gross sales of tickets before expenses from the concert, but they never got paid despite performing at all the three concerts.”
The source said Zhuwao blamed bad weather and the Jamaican Promoter (Yard 1 Promote), whom he accused of violating their contract.
“The agreement was that Yard 1 Promote was going to get a certain percentage from the gate and it is from that amount that he would then pay his artistes, however, Zhuwao cited the shows’ flop as a reason not to pay the artistes,” the source continued.
The Jamaicans refused to comment on the matter, as they headed to the airport and referred all questions to Zhuwao, whose mobile phone was not reachable and he had not responded to questions sent to him at the time of going to print.