Purring urban siren Chomee has revealed that she is going through hard times – thanks to abuse and exploitation by music promoters.
Chomee, who left Arthur Mafokate’s stable 999 Music about two years ago, alleged that music promoters owed her hundreds of thousands of rand in unpaid gigs and have refused to pay her.
The Jiva Sexy hit-maker also lambasted the promoters for treating female artists in the music industry like objects in an open letter she published on her social media pages last night.
“I am writing this letter to try and get them to realize times are hard for me and I need to survive to support my family. I am writing this letter out of frustration as a young female artist.
“I entered this business as a young dancer and was lucky to find a caring mentor who assisted me after realizing I had no money to further my studies. Then in 2010 my management allowed me to start taking bookings separate from the ones they got me, for as long as I informed them on time so as to avoid double bookings.
“Obviously I got happy that I was becoming a serious businesswoman. Then I began to realize how tough it can get being in this business as a woman with no male manager.
“I got booked for a lot of gigs separate from my other gigs from my managers. I did most of them but the most painful thing is the abuse and exploitation by some promoters who treats us like objects. To this date I am owed hundreds of thousands of rands by big names in the industry and most are powerful people I am even scared to name and shame,” she said.
The award-winning artist mentioned, among others, a trip to China in 2010. She alleged that she was never paid the appearance fee.
“I sit here reminiscing about my beautiful trip to China but the fact that I never got paid for that gig, hurts me the most. I cherish all the supporters cheering my name at big stadiums at political rallies but the thought that in most of those rallies I was never paid, pains me,” she lamented.
Although Chomee didn’t mention the name of the impresario by name, Sunday World learnt that it was Native Rhythms boss Sipho Sithole.
Sithole confirmed knowledge of the China matter but said Chomee was included in the line-up at the instruction of then minister Lulu Xingwana.
He said the department never paid for her booking despite having submitted a revised budget to them.