Unpacking the KCi wedding saga - radio personality says he's willing to pay back the money

Radio presenter Mthobeli August, famously known as KCi, shares his side of the story.
Radio presenter Mthobeli August, famously known as KCi, shares his side of the story.
Gallo Images/Getty Images

His name is on everyone's lips and there's nothing positive about it. 

Mthobeli August, popularly known as KCi, finds himself in the spotlight after he failed to show up and MC at a wedding in East London that he was booked for in November 2021. 

He's been quietly living out of the public eye since he left Umhlobo Wenene FM’s drivetime show. Even though it's been five years, he still has a loyal fan base and gets bookings to MC at various events, including weddings. 

It's one of these wedding bookings that's got people talking about it. The bride took to social media to call out the media personality after he didn't show up to MC at her wedding. 

Read more | KCi sacked from his show

What was supposed to be one of the most beautiful days of her life was almost ruined when she had to find an MC on the morning of her traditional wedding. 

Ntebo Leboea, who is born and raised in East London but has since moved overseas, came back to her hometown for her wedding. 

She grew up listening to the much-loved radio personality and when she booked him, she wanted a sense of nostalgia for her wedding. 

She had seen KCi MC at a wedding she was booked to sing at, she found his details and proceeded to book him in June, five months before her wedding. 

"I thought if I am having the wedding in Eastern Cape, I want somebody who embraces the culture, and somebody relevant. He was the perfect person who will entertain everybody at my traditional wedding," she tells Drum. 

On their verbal agreement, they concluded that Ntebo would pay R12 000, book him return flights from Johannesburg to EL, sort out accommodation for him, and provide transportation from the airport to the hotel and venue, etc. 

She agreed to pay the R12 000 in installments, R4000 at first followed by another R4000. After the second deposit, the two communicated over texts and KCi would ask the bride about the groom and their lives together as he prepared himself for the big day.  

"He would communicate with me on WhatsApp, and ask about me and the groom, but he then called me and said there's a predicament," Ntebo says.

KCi had promised to MC at an old friend's 50th birthday, which was on the same day as Ntebo's wedding but he still agreed to be at her wedding.

Ntebo couldn't help but feel 'played,' she shares. 

The day before the traditional wedding, she says KCi demanded the last installment. "I told him, the wedding is tomorrow, when you are done with the service you'll get it. The flight is ready, and when you get to the airport someone will you pick you up," she says. 

"He demanded a rented car to drive himself and refused to be picked up, insisting he doesn't get picked up, and things went from 0 to 100. I was willing to rent him a car because I wanted things to go smoothly, but there were no cars available," she recalls.

A distraught Ntebo says that the two couldn't see eye to eye and she ended up demanding her money back, sending KCi her account details to pay back the money. He agreed to pay, says Ntebo and that was the last time the two ever interacted. 

When she didn't get the money, she resorted to speaking to a lawyer and ask about sending the radio personality a letter of demand, but because she lives outside the country, she was hesitant. Ntebo also alleges that she found out through her travel agent that KCi tried to check-in using the flights she booked and they cancelled it.

"I thought I would give him time to pay the money because I can't go to court or open the case, we sent him a letter of demand via e-mail but 30 days passed without a response and now I've been advised to approach the media," she says. 

Read more | Big, fat weddings are a thing of the past – here's the new guide for guests attending nuptials during lockdown

Speaking to Drum, KCi says the whole situation has been blown out of proportion and he feels embarrassed.

"Why hasn't she gone to the police or to a lawyer to contact me?" asks KCi. 

"They reached out to me in June and I told them if I get another booking or a better offer I'll take it but either way I told her to pay and secure the date so I don't take any gigs and she did. We spoke until October when she let me know she is in South Africa and from then, she barely communicated with me or gave me details about the day," KCi says.

He says he was the one who mostly initiated the conversations.

"I eventually asked if I could liaise with the bride's mother because I was failing to reach her due to everything she was busy with but she refused and did the communication by herself," he says. 

The night before the wedding he shares he still did not have the details of who will fetch him at the airport or an itinerary of the day. 

"I did ask to have my own transport because I did not want to rely on anyone to pick me up or drop me off.  It was not about a hired car, but I didn't want to be stranded at the airport.

"She told me an uncle would call me, but no one called me and as the bride, at some point, she couldn't take calls. I mentioned to her that she also hasn't paid the rest of the money. The arrangement was that I get paid fully before the event," he says. 

KCi feels humiliated that this has gotten this far. According to him, she never asked for the money back. 

He doesn't deny receiving the payment and says he is willing to pay back the money, but they haven't had proper communication since November 2021, although screenshot provided by Ntebo prove she sent her account details but KCi never responded.

KCi says the reason he ended up not MCing at the wedding is due to a lack of coordination and communication. "My flight was at 6am and I called at 1am asking for details, I even called her mother at night asking who will fetch me, what do I do when I got to the airport? But she didn't have the answers.

"It didn't make sense for me to leave Johannesburg and go to E.L not knowing what will happen when I get there and not being able to reach anyone for clarity," he adds. 

"Where I grew up, we respect our elders and those are my witnesses, where she got my contact details and I have been respectful towards her mother for the sake of my reputation and that of my elders too," he says.

KCi denies trying to use the flights, or not taking her calls. 

He says he has been off the spotlight and wouldn't do anything to bring himself back into it. 

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