Hozheri backtracks on 'jazz' lawsuit

HARARE - Popular music promoter Josh Hozheri is no longer keen to sue the owners of the just-opened entertainment joint called Jazz 24/7 which is operating in the building that used to house his defunct Jazz 105.

Last week Hozheri, who was forced to close his Jazz 105 venture in 2014 due high rental charges, was threatening to sue Jazz 24/7, being run by his former manager Yasin Dhala, for allegedly flouting the Copyrights Act.

“If they go ahead with the opening of the new joint, I will definitely drag them to court. How can they name their joint Jazz 24/7 at a place where I successfully ran Jazz 105 which later turned into a big brand?

“I fear this development will cause confusion on the market therefore it can end up tarnishing my Jazz 105 brand,” said Hozheri then.

The award-winning music promoter, who is currently running Ice and Fire Pamuzinda on the periphery of Harare as well as  a new joint called Time and Jazz in the capital, also accused Dhala of celebrating his demise and exit from the place.

“I did not know that you are such a back stabber... do not ever speak to me again in my life,” Hozheri told Dhala through a Whatsapp text recently.

In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday on Thursday after Jazz 24/7 had officially opened its doors to the public, Hozheri said he would no longer drag his “successors and stalkers” to court.

“I have discovered that I am their big brother in the industry hence I should not be seen to be fighting with the little ones for whatever reason. I expect them to follow their conscience to discern good from the bad,” Hozheri said, adding that he would no longer waste his time fighting “small fish.”

“There is no need to fight each other considering that I am no longer running a business which needs mass marketing. I am concentrating on my vision and won’t be deterred by people who just pop up on my way,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Jazz 24/7 owners on the new development proved fruitless.

In an earlier interview early last week, one of the directors Aaron Muzekeyi appeared

unfazed by Hozheri’s threats to sue.

“We were shocked by his move. Jazz does not belong to anyone but it is just a musical genre that has existed for centuries that is why we have been baffled by his totally hollow threats to sue us.

“This is just the beginning. These threats won’t deter us at all. We are determined to take this new joint to a very high level,” said Muzekeyi.

Dhala, who was Hozheri’s trusted lieutenant for many years, also downplayed his former boss’ threats.

“We are going ahead with the opening of the joint. I do not understand what Hozheri is trying to say. I respect him as my former boss and we are ready to talk but not before courts of law,” Dhala said on Wednesday.

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