Mu­sic mogul AKA ‘MUST PAY’ 500K

The rap­per’s for­mer man­ager threat­ens court ac­tion to force AKA to set­tle un­paid bills

CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

Raphael Benza, the for­mer man­ager of rap­per Kier­nan Forbes (bet­ter known as AKA) has threat­ened the mu­si­cian with court ac­tion. This af­ter the rap­per al­legedly failed to pay R500 000 to Benza’s record com­pany Vth Sea­son. Benza and AKA have been at one an­other’s throats, ac­cus­ing each other of not pay­ing their bills. AKA’s busi­ness part­ner Prince Nyembe said Benza built his record com­pany around AKA’s tal­ent and suc­cess. Nyembe ac­cused Benza of hav­ing “used him [AKA] to main­tain the busi­ness”.

“Sadly, the gravy train has come to an end,” he said, and claimed that Vth Sea­son did not bother to em­power AKA when it had the chance.

City Press has seen court pa­pers in­di­cat­ing that the par­ties signed a sep­a­ra­tion set­tle­ment agree­ment in July be­fore a sher­iff of the court.

In the doc­u­ments, the two sides agreed that “each of them shall be en­ti­tled to ar­range an au­dit” af­ter a pe­riod of five months, “and to make copies of the ac­counts books, records, con­tracts and other ma­te­rial rel­e­vant to de­ter­mine how much they owed each other”.

Although the ac­tual fig­ure hasn’t been fi­nalised, City Press un­der­stands that Vth Sea­son is adamant that AKA should con­tinue to pay for ser­vices ren­dered dat­ing back to March.

“Mr Forbes is in de­fault as he has not paid Vth Sea­son nu­mer­ous amounts ow­ing,” Benza’s lawyer David Fein­berg said in an email.

“His rep­re­sen­ta­tives pro­posed a re­pay­ment plan on an es­ti­mated amount of R500 000 in in­stal­ments end­ing in Septem­ber 2018,” Benza’s lawyer David Fein­berg said in an email.

“The re­pay­ment pro­posal was ap­par­ently based on ‘af­ford­abil­ity’. Vth Sea­son has re­jected this pro­posal as it does not be­lieve it to be rea­son­able. Vth Sea­son now has to con­sider le­gal ac­tion as a last re­sort in re­la­tion to the out­stand­ing pay­ments which are cur­rently due, ow­ing and payable.”

Benza is the founder of Vth Sea­son – a tal­ent man­age­ment com­pany and record la­bel – which man­ages the likes of Con­golese mu­si­cian Tre­sor Riziki, Gugulethu “Berita” Khu­malo and co­me­dian Nina Hastie.

Fein­berg told City Press on Fri­day that AKA’s fail­ure to com­ply was a vi­o­la­tion of an agree­ment that was made in an or­der of court.

He added that “Vth Sea­son is tak­ing ad­vice from its at­tor­neys about launch­ing a con­tempt of court ap­pli­ca­tion against Forbes”.

This week, AKA de­nied own­ing Vth Sea­son any money‚ in­stead say­ing the record la­bel lost pres­tige af­ter he left it.

But Fein­berg said Vth Sea­son was only shar­ing the in­for­ma­tion be­cause of AKA’s “un­true state­ment” that he didn’t owe it money.

“Vth Sea­son would pre­fer to al­low the mat­ter to take its le­gal course,” Fein­berg added.

South Africa’s first mu­sic mogul

Nyembe said this week that “Vth Sea­son owed Forbes more than he’ll ever owe them and that’s the truth”. Nyembe de­clined to put a fig­ure to this claim, say­ing that the case was in court.

Nyembe is AKA’s part­ner in Beam Group Com­pany, which fo­cuses on mu­sic en­ter­tain­ment, brand de­vel­op­ment, film, pro­duc­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy and mar­ket­ing.

Nyembe boasted about how his part­ner­ship with AKA changed the mu­si­cian’s for­tunes.

“All I did was em­power him, give him his own busi­ness, let him con­trol his money, let him de­cide who and what he wants to spend money on,” he said.

“To­day he has a team of 23 em­ploy­ees at Beam Group that is mak­ing him an im­mor­tal su­per­star.”

Nyembe added that AKA was the com­pany’s ma­jor­ity share­holder and had opened an­other arm of the firm, Beam Dig­i­tal, which was in­tended to change the mu­sic in­dus­try and “save all Africans’ tal­ent by giv­ing them con­trol”.

At Vth Sea­son, he said, AKA had no payslip and his fi­nances were poorly man­aged.

“To­day, he is a happy man. He has made solid in­vest­ments, he has mul­ti­ple re­tire­ment plans, a trust built to look af­ter his fam­ily, and an ad­di­tional trust for [his daugh­ter] Kairo’s fu­ture and ed­u­ca­tion,” Nyembe said.

The court pa­pers do not state the rea­son for their split, but AKA gave his fans a clue in a se­ries of Tweets posted in Oc­to­ber last year.

“Don’t stress y’all, this means more mu­sic, more growth and most im­por­tantly for my­self and my fam­ily ... more money and a bet­ter fu­ture,” he tweeted.

Xeno­pho­bic com­ments

Just when fans thought the war be­tween AKA and Benza was done and dusted, Benza’s camp re­leased a state­ment stat­ing that they had lodged a com­plaint with the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion against Nyembe. This was for al­leged “hate­ful, in­ju­ri­ous and xeno­pho­bic com­ments” Nyembe made in email con­ver­sa­tions with Benza.

In an al­leged email con­ver­sa­tion on Oc­to­ber 24, Nyembe sent an email to Benza, which read: “And your [sic] clever? Your just a crim­i­nal that’s all. left your s**t coun­try to come take ad­van­tage of our ta­lented peo­ple!! go home!! you don’t be­long here.”

Nyembe said Vth Sea­son’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion was onesided and did not re­flect the con­text of Benza’s emails to his com­pany.

“I was try­ing to con­vey a mes­sage that, when Raphael came to South Africa, he came here to have a bet­ter and brighter fu­ture, but not to take away from an African child. I would not keep quiet and watch some­one tak­ing away from a South African,” Nyembe in­sisted.

PHOTO: LUCKY NXUMALO

IN AR­REARS AKA won an award for the best hit sin­gle at the Metro FM Awards in Fe­bru­ary last year

PHOTO: MUNTU VILAKAZI

GOT IT AKA’s for­mer man­ager Raphael Benza owns Vth Sea­son

JUST BUSI­NESS AKA’s part­ner in Beam Group Com­pany, Prince Nyembe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.