S’fiso in unholy gospel row

2013-09-15 14:00

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Singer invades the stage, then flees from bloodthirsty fans

A gospel-music festival almost degenerated into an ungodly brawl when reigning gospel king S’fiso Ncwane allegedly clashed with two stars and a record-company executive last Saturday.

Ncwane had to run for dear life and hide in his car after the Christian-music fans heckled and booed him off stage, and threatened to beat him up after an argument over the performance schedule.

But that was not the end of Ncwane’s troubles.

Now the promoters of the JF Productions Festival in Tshwane are demanding he pay back his R45 000 appearance fee because he left without performing.

A concertgoer said Ncwane, who won the 2013 MTN Sama Record of The Year award for his massive hit Kulungile Baba, was scheduled to perform at 6.30pm at the sports arena in Atteridgeville, but arrived late and found other artists had taken the stage.

Ncwane then instructed music promoter Bame Maluleka to change the schedule so he could perform before gospel sensations Lundi Tyamara and Donny. Tyamara and Donny belong to the Zuzmuz production stable, owned by movie actor Tshepo Nzimande.

Maluleka asked Ncwane to go speak to Nzimande, but Ncwane refused.

Nzimande lost his cool when Maluleka approached him, saying S’fiso was demanding to perform before his artists.

“Tshepo went to S’fiso and confronted him. An argument broke out between the two as Tshepo felt disrespected by S’fiso, whom he mentored. But Tshepo, who was visibly angry, simply walked away as he was losing his cool,” said the concertgoer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lundi also refused to allow S’fiso to perform before him, saying he was behaving like a prima donna.

“After Lundi’s performance, another artist, Tebogo (Motaung), ascended the stage and started performing. Donny went backstage so he could perform after him,” said the concertgoer.

But S’fiso then pushed Donny aside and blitzed on to stage. He yanked the microphone from Motaung and told the crowd that he was going to perform as he was rushing to a gig somewhere else. The crowd were having none of it, and hurled insults at him and booed him off the stage.

“He ran towards his car as some of his fans ran after him, wanting to beat the hell out of him. But he got into his car and locked it. He later told his band member to pack their things and leave,” said the concertgoer.

Maluleka was spitting fire.

“S’fiso must pay back my money or I will meet him in court. I have never seen a gospel artist so big-headed and disrespectful,” she fumed.

Maluleka said they agreed that he would perform for an hour at 6.30pm and she paid him R45 000 in two instalments.

“He phoned me after 6.30pm to say he was lost in the city

and asked me to fetch him, which I did. When we arrived at the show he demanded to perform immediately because he had another show in Nelspruit.

“I told him that I would speak to Lundi and Donny as they arrived earlier than him and he was late. I then asked him to speak to Tshepo, but he said he did not want to speak to an abuser and said all sorts of bad things about him.

“I then approached Tshepo, but he refused to allow him to perform before his artists because he felt that S’fiso was disrespecting him. He then went to his car and confronted him. Tshepo walked away after a few minutes as they started arguing,” she said.

Motaung was belting out the second song of his set when Ncwane pushed him off stage.

Maluleka said that the sound engineer switched the music off as the crowd became angry, and started heckling and hurling insults at Ncwane.

“They screamed, ‘Hamba! Voetsek! We don’t want you here. We can do without you. Who the hell do you think you are? We made you and we can destroy you, voetsek, voetsek’,” she said.

Maluleka said Ncwane ran off stage and into his car as some threatened to assault him.

He then phoned her after a few minutes and demanded R20 000 more to return to the venue and perform, but she told him to take a hike.

“I want to take legal action against him. I want my money back,” she said.

Motaung confirmed that Ncwane had disrupted his performance.

“I thought he was a professional artist, but I thought wrong ... He took the microphone from me and told the crowd he was no longer performing because he did not want to perform after me,” he said.

Ncwane said: “I was doing these people a favour and they abused me. I’m really tired of answering questions about this. Bye bye.”

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