Zim needs law against unlawful gig cancellations

HARARE - Devine Assignments is mulling whether or not to file a civil lawsuit against Zodwa Wabantu because they felt short-changed by her no-show at a scheduled show in Harare and Bulawayo this week even though she was paid.

Zodwa’s latest no-show has prompted a furious reaction from expectant fans. Devine Assignments is entitled to a refund.

Zodwa has of late become well-known for not showing up at gigs — but her lowest point was this week where the promoter sent her money and even sent a chaperone to pick her up in Durban and she pulled a fast one, disappearing from the scene.

In an agonising statement, Devine Assignments said it regrets to announce the cancellation of Zodwa Wabantu’s scheduled tour of Zimbabwe which was supposed to start on Thursday December 7 in Harare and in Bulawayo on December 8.

“As we had paid her for, we are treating this unfortunate incident of bad faith, unprofessionalism and outright deceit as fraud and will be advised by our partners on the way forward. We deeply regret this turn of events for the fans who were anticipating the show,” reads a statement from Devine Assignments director Biggie Chinoperekwei.

Last month, she was booked for three shows in Bulawayo (Club Connect), Harare (Private Lounge) and Mutare (Club 263) but she chose not to fulfill the assignment claiming she feared the former president Robert Mugabe despite the fact that she had accepted advance payment.

After the resignation of Mugabe, Zodwa agreed to fulfil the shows on December 7 and 8 in Harare and Bulawayo respectively.

However, she was nowhere to be found at the last minute.

Zodwa is not the first artist to make the headlines for failing to pitch up or keeping fans waiting, so promoters need to start asserting their rights when an artist turns up late, or fails to do so at all.

For starters, Zimbabwe needs a Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, which should really outline the code of practice to deal with people like Zodwa.

We need a code that is legally enforceable, with clear terms and conditions.

Promoters must have a right to a refund in all circumstances.

It must also protect show-goers against event promoters that make changes to the contracted event without valid reason.

This cannot be allowed to go on any longer.