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