‘Peace tour’ leaves Thomas Mapfumo in US$10k debt

….evicted from Glen Lorne lodges

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Tawanda Marwizi

Chimurenga music guru Thomas Mapfumo’s ‘peace tour’ has sunk him into debt as it failed to perform according to expectations. The shows were being promoted by Entertainment Republic and Chimurenga Music Company.

Mukanya as the musician is affectionately known, suffered a major setback after sponsors pulled out of the citing poor attendance on the initial shows. This has seen Mukanya accruing a debt of over US$10 000.

Business Times established that the “Nyoka Musango” hit maker was evicted from his lodgings in Glen Lorne after he failed to pay US$1 500 for accommodation. On January 1, this year, the owner of the properties reported Mapfumo to Borrowdale Police for failing to pay the rentals as agreed.

“When he came from his Southerton New Year Show, doors were already locked and he was told that the case had already been reported at Borrowdale Police; he had to seek alternative accommodation in Mt Pleasant,” revealed a well-placed source.

The Peace Tour ran from December 16 to December 31 in selected cities and towns across Zimbabwe. However, the strategy to market the shows only on social media did not bring the desired results while there were complaints that the gate entry charges at $40 (bond notes) were too high.

Some of the shows were cancelled at the last minute while most of them were monumental flops. Only a few shows like Beitbridge and Mutare had meaningful numbers though these failed to ensure break even.

Business Times understands that promoters across the country have become resistant to the musician fearing huge losses.

“He spent last week Friday trying to convince Esau Mupfumi to have a gig at his joint  in the Mutare CBD but the promoter seemed reluctant.” added the source.

It could not be established if Mapfumo would return to the United States where he has been staying for 15 years in self-imposed exile. It is believed he has lined up a number of shows in the coming weeks.

The musician’s publicist Blessing Vava said their other partners, Entertainment Republic,  were handling the accommodation issue.

“I am not aware of that to be honest. I left Glen Lorne on January 1 for South Africa. I don’t have those details it is best to contact Entertainment Republic,” said Vava.

Entertainment Republic director Max Mugaba confirmed the incident condemning the owner of the property for rushing to conclude the matter.

“Entertainment Republic was acting as event managers; we met with service providers and crafted arrangements acceptable to both parties. It is unfortunate that along the way some reneged on the plans and sought to use the criminal justice system to recover their dues way before they were due. In any case he was supposed to leave the residency on January 8,” Mugaba said.

He lashed out at the owner of the properties for failing to abide by the agreement.

“The landlord went overboard. How can he lock out people before the agreed time to move out? We are now in the process of resolving the issues around the musician,” Magaba said.