We want our money!
Local artistes, who participated at the recently held second edition of the youthful Bulawayo Arts Festival (Baf), are yet to get paid by the event’s organisers.
This year’s festivities which ran from 2 to 5 June, were officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Word reaching this publication is that Baf organisers were set to meet their end of the bargain not later than 15 June, but up to now they have not been paid their dues and they are scared to approach the organisers.
Artistes interviewed by this reporter insisted and pleaded for anonymity as they feared being victimised.
One of the artistes who played a pivotal role on all levels and aspects of Baf to be successful, said artistes were scared to approach the organisers because they feared that they might be blacklisted in future projects in the city.
“I am telling you, even if you call artistes one by one and ask them if they have been paid, they will be afraid to talk to you. They feel like the organisers are bullies.
The moment you try to go against them you get blacklisted in the arts industry and it’s very bad.
“Imagine it’s over a month and people are not yet paid and nothing has been communicated by the organisers in the past month. People were practising and rehearsing for Baf to come to fruition, next thing there is no explanation about payments,” said the concerned artiste.
The creative continued: “There is a rumour that the city council gave the organisers money, we just want clarity on how and when we will get paid.”
To address the issue at hand, this reporter managed to track Spencer Biningu who is the finance and administration manager for Baf so as to get clarity.
“I agree artistes’ payment for their participation at Baf has been delayed by a month. However, we are in the procedure of processing their payments. We have since approached some for their banking details.
“We wanted to pay everyone not later than 15 June, but we had delays. For some artistes, their monies have been processed and they will be receiving their payments anytime from today.
“We are not favouring any artistes of our preference to get money first, but we are following a list,” said Biningu.
He said it had to be noted that the money comes from the city fathers and as an organisation they had their internal processes of releasing money.
Bulawayo City Council Corporate Communications manager Nesisa Mpofu, said, “We recently received funding from the Ministry of Youth, Arts, Sports and Culture and National Arts for payment of artistes. We are currently processing payments.”