LATE gospel musician S’fiso Ncwane’s tribute concert on New Year’s Eve was a conservative affair.
This because several top gospel artists billed to perform at the event had pulled a no-show.
According to sources, Deborah Fraser, Dr Tumi Makweya, Andile KaMajola, Lebo Sekgobela, Babo Ngcobo and Omega Khunou stayed away due to non-payment.
A source alleged the annual event, dubbed Gospel All Stars and staged at Durban Centrum Park, KwaZulu-Natal, was titled #LetTheNcwaneLegacyContinue, “to suit the occasion”.
“These artists and S’fiso’s family never showed up,” the source said.
But S’fiso’s family and the musicians did not take kindly to the allegations.
According to the late musician’s sister, Gugu, the Ncwanes were unaware of the event.
“We would have loved to be part of the concert,” Gugu said.
“But we were not invited.”
Dr Tumi cited non-payment as his reason for not attending.
“We never agreed on payment and communication was poor,” he said.
“I couldn’t take my band from Joburg to Durban for a free performance.”
When contacted for comment, Deborah confirmed she didn’t pitch.
“S’fiso had asked me to be part of this event and I agreed,” Deborah said.
“But organisers failed to negotiate payment and wanted a free performance. Things don’t work like that, as we’re also working.”
Lebo also complained about non-payment.
“There was no indication of how I’d be paid or be transported from Botswana to Durban,” she said.
“Everything was vague, so I decided not to attend.”
Omega said he had dropped all his gigs for S’fiso’s tribute.
He said: “My understanding was that we’d be paid as tickets were sold and our faces were used to market the event. I only realised the day before the event that there’d be no payment, so I didn’t pitch.”
Andile and Babo were not available for comment.
Event organiser, Thobile Mchunu, said: “We had no money. We used it for S’fiso’s funeral. Luckily, some artists understood and performed for free.”