It was a flop! There was no USD20K to steal : Focalistic’s Zimbabwe event manager speaks out

EXCLUSIVE: earGROUND gives you an account from Paddymore Gawanga aka Pardy Zimgiant the event manager for the recently held DOPE PARTY in Harare by More Entertainment on the 9th of April and Bulawayo on the 10th which was headlined by South African artist Focalistic which made a huge financial loss and has seen the show promoter Letmore Mbidzo revealing today in the H-Metro that he lost USD$20 000 cash to his manager. 

By Plot Mhako

We had an exclusive interview with Pardy Zimgiant and he shared his side of the story. 

“I met the promoter Tapiwa Letmore Mbidzo on Instagram. I was hosting parties and events in SA and he was impressed and he invited me to work with him. I have worked for more than 10 years in the events and showbiz industry. We did our first Dope Party and it flopped and then we did the second one which was a success.”

“When we planned the Zimbabwe edition we shortlisted artists based on the set budget but Letmore would add extras and we ended up having a bloated line-up. We didn’t not have the money to pay for all the services in advance”

“Letmore wanted to be known and he did this for fame” Paddy

He explained that the event was hosted on debts “nechikwereti” and that the promoter still owe a lot of service provider and artists including Focalistic who had been paid in full only for the Harare show as they banked on it to cover expenses in Bulawayo the next day. Only Winky D had been paid in full in advance. 

Paddy said the Harare show flopped big time as the budget was in excess of USD $70K way beyond the revenue.

King 98, Focalistic and Buffalo Souljah

“We negotiated with most service providers because there was no money in advance. A bit of money we got from the Harare event we paid some of the artists and service providers.“

He added that In Bulawayo nothing had been paid before the event. “We were banking on Harare to cover all Bulawayo costs.” 

“For instance I even borrowed USD8K from Jefferson the owner of Tatipfeke Junk to pay some expenses after I reached out to him”. 

“The complementary and advance tickets I was supposed to give people were all accounted for and I was not the one who was selling tickets or keeping the money but one named Karabo did.”

“Booties Pharmacy is where we made good pre-sales and the money we collected from there (USD5.5K) went towards some services.”

“The promoter still owes the lodge in Waterfalls where part of the team and Buffalo Souljah stayed in Greendale at Cecil Exclusive lodge. He also owes the airline that flew people from Harare to Bulawayo at least USD$10K”

Paddy thinks that the promoter is acting out of pressure because he still has to pay service providers.

He queried , “Where would I have got the USD$20K from? I negotiated with service providers and agreed to pay them after the event. Did he pay any service providers beforehand?” 

“The $500 meant for ZTN he is talking about we had to pay Dreams Night Club because he owed them $600 for alcohol that had been consumed there and the club managers were nagging.” 

Then on the $1000 said to be missing from Bulawayo he said, “I was given a bundle with 10 Dollar Bills, I didn’t count it then as I was tired and when I did I noticed it was not $3000 but $2000 instead and I alerted Mr Mbidzo.” 

“In Bulawayo we made less than USD$3K from tickets. Bouncers who worked in Bulawayo are still owed to date. Artists like Sandra Ndebele are still owed part of their performance fees.”

“I had to borrow money to renew my passport because he never paid me.”

He says he did not run away. “When i went back to the place where we were staying they had already checked out”

He says when Letmore asked him to meet he avoided as he had been tipped that it was a trap.

Paddy said he is currently engaging lawyers to handle the matter. Meanwhile we are making efforts to get a comment from Letmore Mbidzo to hear his side of the story and we shall keep you posted.

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