by Godwin Muzari
Zora musician Leonard Zhakata cancelled his performance at Mushandirapamwe Hotel last Sunday after a misunderstanding with Jah Prayzah over performance fees. The musicians were supposed to share the stage and Zhakata arrived early for the show, apparently geared up for his slot, before an argument ensued over the sharing of gate-takings. The show almost turned into a disco outing when a youthful supporting group left the stage for Zhakata who refused to perform after Jah Prayzah’s camp allegedly offered him a ridiculous fee for his slot.
The “Mugove” hitmaker remained in the car park as his managers unsuccessfully negotiated for better pay with Jah Prayzah’s team. Zhakata eventually left the venue in protest and Jah Prayzah had to go on stage early to fill the gap. Fans had become impatient as the disco affair went on for almost 30 minutes without signs that any performer was preparing to go on stage.
An official from Zhakata’s management said they were not happy with Jah Prayzah’s conduct. “Jah Prayzah should learn to respect his elders in the industry. He offered Zhakata a paltry fee that I cannot even disclose.
He might be the man of the moment but he should respect those who came before him. He should not exploit his seniors?
“Zhakata is a humble man who does not quarrel with fellow artists but he was not happy with the conduct. We had agreed on a fee but Jah Prayzah’s guys decided to change the arrangement and offer us peanuts when they realised fans were not coming in as expected. We tried to negotiate with them but they were arrogant and we decided to leave the venue. Zhakata is very disappointed,” said the official.
Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze said they had disagreed after Zhakata changed his mind on the last minute about his payment and they could not take his new proposal. “We had agreed that they would get a percentage of gate-takings but Zhakata changed his mind when he realised that people were slowly trickling in and demanded a flat fee,” said Mushapaidze.
“We advertised the show knowing that we would share the proceeds but the rains that fell before the event meant that fans would come late for the show. Zhakata’s camp assumed the show would be a flop and said they wanted a flat performance fee when the agreement was they would get a percentage of ticket sales. We did not agree on the figure they proposed and they cancelled their performance and went away.”