'Zim deports Joyous Celebration member'

BULAWAYO - Spumelele Mbambo, a member of award -winning South African gospel outfit Joyous Celebration Choir, was deported on arrival at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport last Thursday for flouting Zimbabwe’s immigration laws.

The talented South African vocalist was scheduled to perform in Bulawayo last Saturday alongside fellow Joyous Celebration Choir member Mkhululi Bhebhe and 2008 Idols East Africa winner Eric Moyo in an event dubbed “Sithi Uyingcwele Gospel Concert.”

Little-known local gospel act, Vocal Extraordinaire, who organised the weekend show, refused to explain circumstances behind the deportation of the 28-year-old gospel queen.

However, they posted a notice at the entrance of the venue apologising for the non-arrival of the South African songstress.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we regret to inform you that Sphumelele won’t be appearing on stage tonight. But Mkhululi, Eric and the rest of the line-up will perform. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” read the terse notice.

While the show organisers were unwilling to comment on the matter, a source at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, who declined to be identified, told the Daily News that Sphumelele arrived aboard a South African Airlink flight on
Thursday afternoon and was immediately sent back.

“She touched down soon after 12pm and left less than an hour later aboard the same plane that had brought her. I understand the immigration officials knew about her coming so upon her arrival they expected her to have a work permit since she was coming to perform but the concert organisers had not applied for one resulting in her being forced to go back.”

Efforts to get a comment from regional immigration officer Sheila Moyo were unsuccessful.

Sphumelele’s deportation follows that of another popular South African musician Freddy Gwala who was sent back to South Africa last year because he did not have the necessary work permit to perform in Bulawayo.

According to Zimbabwe’s immigration laws, a promoter intending to bring a foreign artiste has to fork out $500 in order to secure a work permit.

Despite the no-show of Sphumelele, who was scheduled to be the main act, the rest of the artistes on the bill managed to perform.

    Comments (4)

    'Reasons beyond our control.' That is lying to the publi. They failed to apply for work permit and want to shift the blame

    Jonathan - 14 July 2014

    I wonder if the likes of Akon, Sean Paul, John Legend and other rubbish people acquire permits to perform. Ma agents aSatani kana achiuya kunoperformer hazvina permit inodiwa asi kana riri basa raMwari zvinoita mutauro

    Tawanda - 14 July 2014

    well the law is the law, why did the organiser not see that all was in order, please try and organise next time. You cannot blame anybody but you the organiser of the show, ne.

    Mathabo - 15 July 2014

    You know that if she was getting something out of the performance,, that is work,, try it in other countries, you will be deported, apply for the correct papers, thats the truth of the matter.

    Mathabo - 15 July 2014

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