Leomile’s response to Ultimate FM
Communication between the radio station and I continued until Friday (18 November) afternoon when we could not reach a settlement. At that point, the management of the radio station had neither signed the contract nor made any payment that would have enable me to attend the show.
It genuinely baffles me that the station expected further meaningful communication from me. At that stage it was apparent to me that the radio station’s interests and my own ran parallel.
Had they understood the implications of the cancellation from my point of view, they would have taken to the radio to at least inform attendees that I was no longer going to perform. Instead, they continued to advertise using my name and certain radio presenters continued to say I would be performing even on the day of the awards show.
While I considered not disclosing the monies involved in this whole debacle it also became apparent to me that some people might not fully understand my plight and the dire circumstances in which I found myself.
Unfortunately, some of our fans think that our performances translate into raking in tonnes of money and don’t know that we often perform for nothing, hoping simply to publicize ourselves. And so it was important to mention the monies involves in this “feud”.
The second point that I would like to clarify is that at no point throughout the negotiations did I speak to the station director ‘Mabatho Lithebe. The verbal agreement that is referred to in the article was between myself and the radio deejay Dallas T.
It is therefore bizarre that the station director can dispute the fact that provision of transport was part of this verbal agreement. In any case, as stated in my initial statement of withdrawal, it is surprising that she believes M8 000 is sufficient to cover travel costs between Johannesburg and Maseru, the payment of four professional musicians, rehearsal costs and food. Perhaps her impression that my actions amount to washing our dirty linen in public stems from her knowledge of how much South African artists were paid, apparently M40 000 each.
Thirdly, the statement made by Ultimate FM official, Mpho Moletsane about calling me two weeks before the event to obtain my account number for payment purposes is of no relevance at all to my dispute with the radio station. If this issue was as urgent as she says, surely she could have resorted to other means of communication such as a text message or an e-mail.
In fact, two days before the event Mampho Lephoi Moletsane (presumably the same official referred to as Mpho Moletsane by Mr Phakela) requested for my banking details via e-mail. This I did although I had already sent them to my awards correspondent, Dallas T, with the hopes that the transport issue would be resolved.
On Friday, the following day, as I anxiously anticipated confirmation of transfer of funds into my account as well as transport arrangements, Mampho Moletsane called me requesting me to provide a bank certified copy of my banking details. I made her aware that as long as we hadn’t resolved the transport issue, a request for bank certified banking details would be a futile exercise. It was at this stage that she made a proposal to take care of the accommodation for the band and I take responsibility for the transport.
Once again I highlighted that the trade would not be of any benefit to me because their accommodating the band would not generate money for transport since the decision had already been made to accommodate the band at my home.
She said that it would have been unprofessional to adjust my invoice submitted to sponsors. Well, I did not send any invoice to Ultimate FM.
Therefore, what is truly unprofessional and unethical is claiming money from sponsors using a list of artists’ names with no supporting documentation in the form of contracts indicating the commitments of these artists to perform, as well as the remunerations for these performances.
In all of my previous performances in Maseru that included overnight stays, my band was ac-
commodated in Maseru. We would cut costs by accommodating some of the members at my home while others stayed at local guest houses. Shocking as it was to read the blatant and desperate fabrication that I refused for my band to be accommodated locally and insisted that my band stayed in Ladybrand, it is so farfetched and inconsistent with how I have handled hospitality for the band before. In any case, what is the relevance of this claim to the dispute over transport costs?
In a final attempt to influence perceptions of me negatively, the director of the station called me unprofessional and implied that other event organisers would not want to work with me. One would have hoped that she would not have been so quick to put labels on me.
That she could have assumed the role of an arbitrator in a dispute between me and her staff. I have built, and will continue to build solid relationships with event organisers in Lesotho and further. There are enough people who are passionate about entertainment and have a thorough understanding that Basotho musicians deserve to be treated with integrity.
Those are the people with whom I wish to collaborate with and should Ultimate FM wish to join the ensemble, I will be more than happy to work hand in hand for the genuine elevation of musicians in this country. Until such a time, I will continue to grow and serve fearlessly through music.
I will not be silenced or terrorized for fear that I will lose opportunities. It would be a gross underestimation of the true powers that be to believe that my destiny will be determined by one unfortunate encounter. Leomile.