Leomile feuds with Ul­ti­mate FM

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

UL­TI­MATE FM has hit out at songstress Leomile for tak­ing to so­cial me­dia in­stead of en­gag­ing the ra­dio sta­tion over the can­cel­la­tion of a per­for­mance deal for last Satur­day’s Ul­ti­mate Mu­sic Awards at ‘Man­thabiseng Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Maseru.

The Lerato Le Felile hit maker took to Face­book on Fri­day to an­nounce her with­drawal from the event cit­ing the or­gan­is­ers’ al­leged fail­ure to cover her band’s trans­port from her Johannesburg base to Le­sotho.

“It is with great dis­ap­point­ment that I have to an­nounce my with­drawal as a per­former at the Ul­ti­mate Mu­sic Awards 2016,” Leomile said on the so­cial me­dia site.

She said Ul­ti­mate FM had of­fered her a non-ne­go­tiable per­for­mance fee of M8 000 which was not enough to cover costs she would in­cur in bringing the band as well as ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“I made them aware of other costs in­volved such as trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion and was told that there is no bud­get for that. Af­ter a lit­tle tug of war I re­lented and said I would ac­com­mo­date the band at my own home. How­ever, trans­port would be the bur­den of the or­gan­is­ers

Leomile said she was “shocked” to later dis­cover that Ul­ti­mate FM would no longer be pro­vid­ing trans­port.

She claimed she was also told “they would see what they can do” and “put to­gether the money” when her man­ager en­quired about the per­for­mance fee.

“On Tues­day (last week) we re­alised that time was run­ning out and de­manded a firm an­swer to all our ques­tions but again we were told that they could not pro­vide trans­porta­tion, and with re­gards to the pay­ment, they thought the lat­est it will be pro­cessed is Fri­day, just a day be­fore the event whereas the un­signed con­tract stated that pay­ment should be done three days in ad­vance,” Leomile said, adding that left her no choice but to can­cel her par­tic­i­pa­tion as the money of­fered would not suf­fice to cover trans­port costs.

How­ever, Ul­ti­mate FM Sta­tion Di­rec­tor ‘Ma­batho Lithebe this week told the Week­ender her of­fice was “greatly dis­ap­pointed” by Leomile’s de­ci­sion to air the is­sue on so­cial me­dia in­stead of first en­gag­ing them.

Lithebe said they en­tered into a ver­bal agree­ment with Leomile last month, along with other South African-based artistes in­clud­ing Maleh and Matli Mo­hapeloa.

“We had agreed with each artiste about pay­ment and had promised we would trans­fer funds into their ac­counts lat­est by Fri­day,” Lithebe said.

“It came to my at­ten­tion on Fri­day that Leomile de­manded trans­port for her­self and the band which is some­thing we had not agreed upon.”

“I then tried to call her so we could reach a so­lu­tion but then her phone kept ring­ing with­out be­ing an­swered.”

She said Ul­ti­mate FM was de­voted to pro­mot­ing lo­cal artistes and not to ex­ploit­ing them, adding the awards cer­e­mony was one of such ini­tia­tives.

“Re­mem­ber, we also booked var­i­ous lo­cal artistes to grace the event, pay­ing them with the lit­tle money we had.

“My door is al­ways open for any­one and I ex­pect peo­ple to com­mu­ni­cate with me what­ever is­sues they have re­gard­ing the sta­tion. I ex­pected Leomile to do the same and not air our dirty laun­dry in pub­lic, es­pe­cially on so­cial me­dia.

“How does she ex­pect our re­la­tions to be af­ter this or how is she

expecting other event or­gan­is­ers to per­ceive her if she can­not be pro­fes­sional? I am greatly dis­ap­pointed,” Lithebe said.

An­other Ul­ti­mate FM of­fi­cial, Mpho Mo­let­sane, said Leomile had only no­ti­fied them at the last minute that she needed M3 000 to cover trans­port costs.

Mo­let­sane said she made sev­eral at­tempts to call Leomile two weeks be­fore the awards to get her ac­count num­ber for pay­ment pur­poses but her phone went unan­swered and “she only got back to me the fol­low­ing week de­mand­ing M3 000 on top of the M8000 book­ing fee”.

“I told her that we could not af­ford that for we had al­ready sub­mit­ted her in­voice to the spon­sors who were in­cur­ring the book­ing costs so it would not be pro­fes­sional to change it at that time but she just sim­ply said she will not come if we do not pay that amount, ar­gu­ing that we only have money to pay South African artistes but not her.

“I per­son­ally booked 21 rooms in two lo­cal hos­pi­tal­ity fa­cil­i­ties on be­half of the sta­tion for artistes who would be com­ing from South Africa which means she was catered for. But wanted her band to sleep in Lady­brand, South Africa) and when we re­fused she said she would rather cater for them at her own home in Ha Thet­sane,” Mo­let­sane said.

Ul­ti­mate FM di­rec­tor ‘Ma­batho Lithebe.

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