THE Limpopo Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has splurged R3.9 million on the Mapungubwe Gospel Festival, with 25 artists paid a total of R1.4 million.
However, the line-up and artist fees are set to overshadow the event.
Music promoters and event organisers who spoke to African Times on condition of anonymity this week have questioned the logic behind the amounts paid to the artists after it emerged that they had been paid up to R106 000 each in full before setting their feet at the April 14 festival.
This came after MEC Onicca Moloi allegedly took over the running of the R12 million annual festival and
personally appointed hand-picked artists.
Official documents obtained by African Times have revealed that the artists booked have been paid as
follows by March 31, 2017.
– Solly Mahlangu – R106 000
– Lebo Sekgobela – R94 950
– Dr Tumi – R90 000
– Deborah Fraiser – R90 000
– Hlengiwe Mhlaba – R89 000
– Winnie Mashaba – R85 000
– Worship House Music – R85 000
– Heinz Winckler – R85 000
– Sechaba –R79 250
– Pastor Lunghi Ndala – R60 000
– Sonja Herholdt –R54 000
– Taki and Rofhiwa –R50 000
– Seshego Gospel Choir –R45 000
– Joyce Shabangu –R40 000
– Mokgadi Music Production –R30 000
– Nkele Mphahlele –R30 000
– Limpopo Gospel Choir –R30 000
– The Living Rock –R30 000
– Vusimusi Phalane –R20 000
– Tau Diarora –R20 000
One seasoned festival organiser told African Times that a few factors determine how much an artist will charge and receive for a performance.
“You have to look at whether the artist will be using a backtrack, full band or semi-live. From there you
look at national appeal, provincial and regional appeal. Those that are paid in the regions
of R90 000 to over R100 000 must have national appeal and command a massive following coupled with
how well they are doing at that point,” said the source speaking on condition of anonymity. Looking at the lineup and prices quoted for the artists, the source said in terms of relevance, Dr. Tumi was supposed to be paid the highest amount as he is currently commanding serious national presence and had recently won an
award,” he said.
He said some of the fees paid appeared to have been inflated.
“Some of the artists that are on that list have not had success in recent months and years yet they are
charging over R80 000. For me Heinz Winckler’s fee is too high as I doubt many of the people coming there will know him and his music,” added the source.
The source further said that the department could have negotiated lower fees from the majority of the
artists as their stars were no longer as bright as they used to be.
“Some of the artists are have been performers. They used to command a following in the past but not
The omission of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) performers from the lineup has also rubbed some music
lovers the wrong way.
Some artists have recently complained that the line-up was dominated by Hillsong and bazalwana singers.
The only performers put there to cater for ZCC members were Winnie Mashaba and Tau Diarora.
“Tau Diarora was also a recent edition after people complained,” said another source.
The department has defended the artist fees and selection of performers.
Spokesperson Moloko Moloto said they were not over charged and they did not look at church affiliations.
He added that it’s very difficult to ascertain which artist belongs to which church based on the type of music they sing.
“It’s totally untrue that artists overcharged us. The amounts they charged us are reasonable. We did
not consider the church affiliation of any of the artists who’ll perform at the festival,” Moloto said.
He further stipulated that the idea to move the Gospel Festival to the Easter Weekend was to ensure that
festivities don’t become convoluted in December and that people can have fun throughout the year.
“The Mapungubwe Gospel Festival was shifted to the Easter Holiday period, the Mapungubwe
Football will be held in July, we’ll have the Mapungubwe Marathon in September and other elements of the
festival in December,” Moloto said.