The Buyel’Ekhaya Music Festival has released a public statement defending itself after controversy surrounding a ‘lifeless’ performance by Babes Wodumo.

The drama between festival organisers and the singer became public after the singer addressed criticism aimed at her performance on 19 December in East London.

In a video posted to Instagram‚ Babes accused event founder Nomahlubi Mazwai of verbally abusing her. Babes also said Mazwai threatened to kill her moments before forcing her on stage with the help of security guards.

In a statement posted to the event’s official Facebook page‚ Buyel’Ekhaya took shots at Babes‚ giving a 17 point response to the allegations made.

Among the claims‚ organisers say Babes missed her call time‚ insisted on a bath even though she was late and then refused to perform when she arrived at the venue.

“Babes Wodumo was paid a deposit of 75% (R75 000,00) of her performance fee on 21 October 2016… Babes Wodumo’s management was made aware of all necessary details regarding Babes Wodumo’s arrangements in East London. All details, including her call time (01:35am) and performance time (02:25am), were communicated to her….On the day of travel, Sunday 18 December 2017, Babes Wodumo failed to arrive at the airport and board her flight from Durban to East London…” reads part of the statement.

“…Babes Wodumo failed to arrive timeously at the venue for her call time at 01:35am on 19 December 2016. On route to the stadium Babes Wodumo made a demand‚ to our artist manager Sharif Baker‚ to go to her hotel to take a bath. This was rejected as she had to get on stage immediately as the Venue Operations Committee had resolved to switch the music off at the venue by 04:30am. 11. On arrival at the venue at 03:00am‚ Babes Wodumo refused to perform…”

“On arrival at the venue at 03:00am, Babes Wodumo refused to perform… Artist Manager Sharif Baker and his team tried to persuade Babes Wodumo to take the stage as she was in breach in every way of her contract with Buyel’Ekhaya.”

Babes was the closing act for the 24-hour music show and created a stir when she walked onto stage and just stood there‚ not showing off her usual signature dance moves.

The singer has been unavailable for comment.


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