Babes didn’t fly, so spend­ing on send-off queried

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BHEKI MBAN­JWA

MEM­BERS of the eThek­wini ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee yes­ter­day de­fended the city’s de­ci­sion to throw a send-off event for Gqom sen­sa­tion Babes Wo­dumo, al­though the singer missed her trip to the BET Awards in Los An­ge­les.

Two weeks ago, the city hosted a send-off break­fast for Wo­dumo, whose real name is Bongek­ile Sime­lane, and fel­low Dur­ban­ite Nasty C, real name Nsikayezwe David Jr Ng­cobo.

Both had been nom­i­nated for the BET awards held on Sun­day. Wo­dumo missed the trip be­cause of bungling by her man­age­ment team, who failed to se­cure her a visa. Her man­ager later took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bun­gle and apol­o­gised.

Yes­ter­day, at the eThek­wini ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil meet­ing, DA coun­cil­lor Zwakele Mncwango in­tro­duced a de­bate on whether the city’s ex­pen­di­ture on the event con­sti­tuted waste­ful and fruit­less ex­pen­di­ture.

Mncwango sug­gested the event to bid the singer farewell ahead of the awards amounted to waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture be­cause her fail­ure to go on the trip meant she had not been an am­bas­sador for the city abroad, as ini­tially en­vis­aged.

“We spent money hop­ing that she will go to Los An­ge­les. The ra­tio­nale was that the artist was go­ing to mar­ket the city abroad but that did not hap­pen,” Mncwango said.

ANC coun­cil­lor Barbara Fortein said de­spite the artist not mak­ing the trip, her nom­i­na­tion for the BET awards still stood and would “go down in his­tory”.

City man­ager Sipho Nzuza said the ex­pen­di­ture was not fruit­less as the city’s mo­ti­va­tion for host­ing the event had been good.

Deputy mayor Fawzia Peer said both artists were am­bas­sadors of the city.

The sum spent on the event has not been dis­closed.


NO VISA, NO TRAVEL: Babes Wo­dumo failed to travel to LA be­cause her man­ager, known as Mamp­intsha (pic­tured), did not get her a visa in time.

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