The name of former Ukhozi FM sports presenter and businessman Irvin Sihlope, who passed away in November, has been thrown in a payment drama. The sports presenter should be resting in peace after battling the effects of a stroke for many years.
However, it looks like unpaid debts are following him beyond the grave. Sihlophe is accused by some gospel artists of going to the grave without paying them.
Booked for the festival in April
The artists were booked for the annual Uvukile Gospel Festival in April at Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre in Port Shepstone last year.
The popular event, which takes place around the Easter weekend, gets support from Ugu District municipality and Ray Nkonyeni local municipality. Sihlope and comedian Pastor Mjosty were co-founders of Uvukile Gospel Festival. The event is in its 10 anniversary this year.
Artists given the runaround
Gospel artist Nathi Sithole disclosed that he has been sent from pillar to post each time he enquired about his payment. “I can’t stomach this thing anymore. The festival organisers are taking us for a ride. I was shocked when I heard that the festival organisers are gearing up to host another installment. Yet there are outstanding salaries for some of us,” said Sithole of Ngilondoloze song.
Threatened for demanding payment
Another artist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I was threatened that I won’t get booked again if I go around and spread this late payment saga. As an upcoming artist one is keeping fingers crossed that our payments are sorted before the next festival.”
Approached for comment, Mjosty said. “Yes it’s true that some artists are yet to be paid. We sympathise with the artists. But I can confirm to you that the KZN department of arts and culture is dealing with payment issues. It’s not our fault that there are delays in payments. We urge our artists to bear with us.”