Max Mugaba of Entertainment Republic who brought Thomas Mapfumo home has revealed that the Chimurenga guru almost cancelled the trip over money.


He told The Herald :“We agreed on December 1 that he would make it for New Year’s Eve concert. It seemed perfect because it would have been a good date considering that many people want to celebrate the New Year in style.

“After some days, he told us that he would not be able to come because he had to sort everything out for his family. He wanted to travel with his whole family because they had not been home for a long time.”

The family was not prepared to travel in December and the promoters had to postpone the show.

“We agreed on the April 28 date and we thought everything would be smooth until challenges came towards the days of show. Other promoters wanted to counter our arrangement and they began marketing his homecoming show. They wanted to grab a deal behind our back and they caused a lot of confusion that led to many complications ahead of the deal. There is one popular musician who was also involved in the deal to take over the show and his company was seriously involved in negotiations.

“We asked Mukanya and his management about the purported show and they said they had only been approached, but had not finalised any other deal besides ours. But we were worried, because we were hearing stories of the offers that they were making to Mukanya in order to take over the show.”
Mugaba said the most trying time came in the last days towards the show and Mukanya almost aborted his trip. It took a respected man in the local tourism industry to intervene and convince Mukanya to come home.

“We had bought tickets for him and his band members in UK and US and we thought it would be smooth. We had agreed on a certain figure that we were supposed to pay, but things changed on the last minute when Mukanya said he wanted to get all his money before travelling.

“It seemed he did not trust us and we suspected he was getting false information from our rivals. We ran around to raise more money, but we could not convince him until the very last hours before his departure.

“We had to rush to South Africa on the eleventh hour to get our business partners to guarantee that we were going to pay when he gets home.

“On the last day we had to talk to him until a few minutes before his check-in for the flight to convince him to come. He had threatened to abort the trip. It was after intervention from a senior member in the tourism industry that he agreed to travel”

Mugaba said after Mukanya’s arrival they had a meeting and were given 24 hours to raise the
remainder of the performance fee.

They failed to raise it and two days before the show there was a plan to cancel his performance. The musician’s team called for a press conference two days before the show and Mugaba says it was aimed at announcing the cancellation of the show.

They made another payment and the press conference was called off when journalists had already gathered for the event.

“We paid the last instalment on Friday, a day before the show and that is how the dust settled. It was not an easy road to the show. We had to endure challenges and hardships as we dealt with Mukanya.