Leomile’s re­sponse to Ul­ti­mate FM

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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.

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