KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
MULTI-AWARD winning hip-hop artiste Slap D has rejected K3,000 being offered to him by the Zambia International Trade Fair to perform for two days at the show next month.
Slap D, whose real name is Mwila Musonda, said on Facebook he had refused to perform at the trade fair on Wednesday before his story started trending on Twitter, where he received a lot of backing from his followers.
â€œThe Trade Fair Society is offering K3,000 a show for me and my team to travel to Ndola, lodge ourselves there for two days, provide ourselves with food and beverages. After all expenses, we would be making K600 to be split up five ways from each performance.
â€œThey have added that â€˜all the other artistes are getting the same amountâ€™ which is why they cannot up on my performance fees. I politely told them I will pass and most likely spend the two days teaching my daughter how to ride her bike,â€ he wrote.
Slap D was also not happy that the organisers are inviting an international artiste, who is most likely getting a hefty package.
â€œThey are also inviting an international artiste to perform for the same event [so I hear]. I cannot say how much they are paying them because I donâ€™t know. What I know is that wherever they are coming from, their flights alone will cost more than our performance fees.
â€œI post this not to complain [seeing as my colleagues are comfortable with this]. I post this to make it clear to all promoters across Zambia that if you are going to consider me to provide this service, let it be an amount worth doing the job. I understand our economy is a little complicated but if you can afford flying in a team of other musicians, my fees should not be a problem,â€ he further writes.
Slap D hopes his fans will understand how much work is put in to make all of them happy and how much time it takes to put out music that is well produced, mixed and mastered and will represent the country for a long time.
He says if local artistes are going to compete internationally, it will take more than K3,000 from their own people to enable them do that.
â€œDonâ€™t get it twisted, I do a lot of charity work around, but if it is a business deal, letâ€™s keep it that way,â€ he concludes.
He is an ally of the Australia-based Zambian rapper CRI$I$, aka Mr Swagger, who says part of the reason he never performed at the Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka was that he found it â€œun-entertainingâ€ that they chose to pay him so little for one performing with a band.
â€œI walked out of the meeting requesting that they review their policy. Those that accepted to be paid the little that was offered stayed in the meeting and looked at me like I was crazy. Iâ€™ve been about my business and I have also done many charity events,â€ CRI$I$ says.
He says one of the reasons he decided to leave the country for greener pastures is the low amount of money paid to local artistes.
â€œIâ€™m glad that Slap D is also confronting this issue. Those who chose to stay in that meeting and accept to be paid know who they are! I was in the meetings, two years in a roll and still, no consideration earned,â€ he says.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka