Winston Ngozi’s family cry foul over tribute performances

2015-03-28 17:22

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The family of the late jazz saxophonist Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi claim they were never consulted about tribute performances set to take place at tonight’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival, as well the iKapa Jazz Movement tomorrow.

However, they are accused of being opportunistic.

Thulisile Ngozi, the younger brother of Winston and who runs the Winston Ngozi foundation, says he found out about a documentary on the late musician after seeing it on TV by chance. “I was watching SABC 2 when I saw Bra Winston performing in the documentary, which Mike Perry had done. And he [Perry] knows that there’s a Winston Ngozi foundation but never came to us.”

Thulisile said he called Perry to enquire when the work was done and Perry said “it was done in December 2014 ... And I responded by saying we need to talk because we wouldn’t like it to be a situation where we are at war.”

Perry was puzzled when City Press called, saying “this is very upsetting.”

Winston’s music partner for many years said the documentary Thulisile referred to was actually about him (Perry), in which Winston was mentioned.

Perry added: “I’m surprised at the timing of Ngozi’s concerns. We were booked months ago and this has been a very well-advertised gig and yet a few hours from the show it’s an issue”

Perry pointed out that himself and Winston “were brothers”.

He explained: “If you look at the albums and songs you’ll see the credits read Ngozi?/?Perry. So we’ll be performing all the songs tonight, save for maybe Yakhal’ Inkomo which would be a great pity, because this was our life’s work and we have a right to it.”

Thulisile said the organiser of iKapa Jazz Movement were “some guys who decided to exploit Bra Winston and jumped on the bandwagon”.

He says iKapa Jazz organiser Sticks Mdidimba “told me that they don’t need permission from the family”.

Mdidimba explains: “Ngozi [Thulisile] received the iKapa Jazz Movement event poster as part of our mailing list late last week. He then proceeded to insult me on WhatsApp and my email. And when someone insults you, you become emotional and respond, so I responded and told him to get his facts straight.”

“iKapa Jazz Movement is not hosting any tribute. We are hosting – as we always do after every jazz fest – an after jazz party for the people of Langa,” Mdidimba continued.

Mdidimba said Thulisile was using this to settle personal vendettas.

The organisers of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival confirmed that they are not aware of the existence of any “dispute” with regard to the performance of a tribute by Perry to Winston.

The organisers also said that “neither the Ngozi family or the Foundation have been in contact with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) or its representatives.”

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