SULUMANI Chimbetu has claimed that he was tricked into going on a tour of the United Kingdom by a music promoter who swindled him and his uncle back in 2006.
“I thought I was dealing with Tendai Samupindi, but I was dealing with Arthur Janjawa, a crook who duped me and my uncle Alan in 2006,” Chimbetu told The Daily News after cutting short his tour on Monday and flying back to Harare.
He added: “Janjawa changed his name and we had no idea we were dealing with the same person.”
Back in 2006, young Sulumani was touring with his uncle who had taken charge of the late Simon Chimbetu’s Dendera Kings band when they were left stranded for several days after Janjawa abandoned them at the end of their gigs. Their return tickets were not valid for another three weeks after the end of the tour, and Alan had to pay £2,700 of his own money to change the tickets to an earlier date.
Sulumani said he performed in Leicester and Dunstable last Friday and Saturday because he had been paid a deposit for the gigs. His next show set for London on Sunday was cancelled after Janjawa failed to pay the venue, and last-minute attempts to switch the show to another venue fell flat because there was no sound equipment.
Chimbetu was due to stay in the UK for another week ahead of a performance in Leeds on Friday, April 29, but he pulled the plug on the tour and flew home.
The Kwedu star told The Daily News: “Janjawa started making some uncanny deals requesting me to play in little bars in the UK and not paying for venues.
“He started tampering with my contract and this did not sit well with me. I informed our lawyers and we decided to cancel the trip.
“I will still do UK shows if I’m being represented by a genuine promoter, and I also require my payment before I leave Harare.”
In a statement earlier this week, Janjawa, through his promotion company, said suggestions that they had been less than reputable in their dealings with Chimbetu were “unfounded and malicious”.
The promoters also claimed that Chimbetu “has already gained mileage in terms of international exposure” from the troubled tour.