Two church choirs and a club based in Dwangwa have threatened to take Malawi’s renowned reggae band, Black Missionaries, to court claiming that the band pocketed money from them but failed to show up for concerts.
According to reports, Black Missionaries Band from September to November last year received K1.2 million from Dwangwa club, K450,000 from Nkhunga Chikondano CCAP Women’s Choir, and K400,000 from Nkhunga Devine Mercy Catholic Church Choir as payments for different shows but they did not honour any of these agreements.
It has been revealed that instead of honouring the agreements, the band kept on postponing the shows until the groups were fed up.
According to Malawi News Agency (MANA), Chairperson for Dwangwa Club Steve Chapola was disappointed with the Black Missionaries Band members as there has been no communication to substantiate failure of performances.
He threatened that their club will involve lawyers if the Black Missionaries Band does not refund their payments in time. “We first agreed to have a show on November 28, 2015 only to learn that they had set aside the same date for the Matafale Memorial show. Anjiru kept on insisting they would come for a show until a day before the event when he acknowledged they would not make it.
“We postponed the show to December 4, 2015 but it did not work because he was sick. And again the event was shifted to January 1, 2016; this show also failed to take place because they had a breakdown. We hired vehicles to where they were stuck but they refused to accompany us,” Chapola said.
Chikondano Choir Secretary Florence Manjawira said out of the K450,000 they deposited into the Black Missionaries Band’s bank account, the Blacks only managed to refund them K400,000 and they are pressuring the band through Nkhunga Police Station for refund of the balance.
To his side, Director for Divine Mercy Choir, Hendrix Mtiwala said he personally refused to receive a refund from the band because they had invested a lot in advertising and other logistics into the preparation of the show.
“The show has been postponed for five good times. During all those periods, I had to travel to different destinations to meet band members for preparation. There were times we met in Blantyre and Mzuzu. We also marketed the show through newspapers, posters and radios.
“I refused to get the money because they wanted to refund when I was alone and I felt they were supposed to refund all the expenses which had so far accumulated to K1.3 million. They wanted to give back K400,000. They should not be greedy with money,” he said.
Black Missionaries Band leader Anjiru Fumulani confirmed that they indeed postponed their shows several times but reasons behind the withdrawal were concrete and valid.
“It is indeed very sad development but we could not do it just to disappoint our fans, we love them and we will perform. As for Dwangwa Club, we are waiting for management to tell us what they agree, we will follow suit whether to have another date for the show or to return the money,” he said.
The band leader also said the crew refunded all the money to the women. “I am sure the person whom we sent to convey K50,000 delivered to them in cash,” he said. Black Missionaries band promoter Jai Banda said he was not aware of the band’s agreement with the choirs but admitted he was aware that Dwangwa Club wanted a refund.