COMEDIAN and musician Freddy “Kapfupi” Manjalima’s bid to establish the PaMai Nga Arts Centre had been in limbo since 2011 after he failed to raise the $5 000 — instead of the official charge of $800 — he claimed was demanded by an Epworth Local Board official.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
Kapfupi told NewsDay Life & Style that he suspected an official (name supplied), wanted to con him, a development that has hampered his efforts to nurture young talent in the satellite settlement.
“My wish was to scout artistic talent in Epworth focusing on drama and music. I applied for land six years ago to establish an arts centre to groom the talented youngsters,” he said.
Kapfupi had envisioned a project in the mould of Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton and Chitungwiza Arts Centre.
“The $5 000 I was asked to bring for the necessary surveying by an employee, who came through the back door, was unaffordable and it killed my spirit,” he said.
Although the local board’s secretary, Wilton Mhanda confirmed receiving Kapfupi’s application and a December 15, 2011 council’s decision to allocate him land, the entertainer failed to meet his end of the bargain.
“He applied to establish a recreation centre on July 27, 2011. The council sat on December (2011) and agreed to give him land on the condition that he would engage a surveyor, pay a deposit and sign an agreement of sale form,” he said, adding that Kapfupi never followed up on his application.
“He never came back, yet the council’s response was sent to him. We are still waiting for him to come and meet the conditions. Maybe he is on his way,” he said.
Mhanda, however, declined to comment on the allegations of the $5 000 bribe, saying the comedian may have engaged private individuals, whose charges are high, as the board did not charge offhand.
“The surveyors’ charges depend on the area. The land is evaluated by evaluators, whom we engage at a cost. The nature of activities one wants to do and other factors also come into play,” he said.
NewsDay Life & Style, however, established that it would cost $800 to survey the piece of land that Kapfupi was eyeing.
After several years in theatre, Kapfupi ventured into music in 2005, recording the album, Uchakanga Waya.
His second album, Mai Nga, came out in 2010 and saw music promoters dashing for his signature.