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I was humiliated - Ihashi

By unknown | Dec 24, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Miss World might have come and gone but some of its casualties are still suffering from the scars of humiliation inflicted upon them during an experience that was supposed to have been one of their most exciting.

One such star is iconic maskandi musician iHashi Elimhlophe who is hopping mad following the disrespectful treatment meted on him and his band at the Miss World finals at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Alongside billions of viewers, guests at the event watched in horror the rude interruption of the band while still in the middle of a performance. This after a UK rock group had just performed two songs live and uninterrupted.

An irate Hashi, who insists he has never been this humiliated as an artist before, says the story did not end there.

"From the moment we were booked to perform, the producers of the show, who are white non-South Africans, wanted to dictate to us which song to sing.

"It's not a bad thing if you know the artist and are familiar with his repertoire. Unfortunately this was not the case with these people.

"On Saturday we were told to be at the Sandton Convention Centre by 10am but when we got there nobody gave us a glance, let alone talked to us. That was until way after 12pm and we were making enquiries," he says, adding that according to the agreement they would perform live.

"We were disturbed when, after the UK rock group's performance, we saw them remove the backline from the stage. When we enquired, we were told we were performing Muntuza to a CD which they needed within 30 minutes. We always perform live and how or where we were to get that specific CD that was released years ago, and therefore, not easy to come by, was a puzzle.

"The performance was a great opportunity to showcase our music and South African culture to the world, but how do you do that when you are disrespected and not allowed to do what you do best?" Elimhlophe asks.

"I was unhappy about the treatment by the producers, it smacks of racism. Why allow a UK group two live songs and squash ours cruelly?

"Johannesburg Tourism executives must really screen the people they work with. We are credible artists who don't owe our existence to these unknown people. We were booked on the strength of our ability and professionalism and did not need to be humiliated like that.

"Imagine the cheek of these people telling me to put the guitar away because it did not look good on stage. That I should rather hold a microphone!

"Why did they not demand the same of the rock star who had his time on stage? We think all this insolent behaviour was because we are black.

"Rather than be disrespected and my artistry undermined, I would rather not perform at all.

"Equally disturbing, was to be baptised 'Soweto Johannesburg music' instead of being called by my name, Hashi Elimhlophe. Why did they not call the rock star the UK rock group?"

The pettiness, recalls Hashi, even spread to accreditation. "We were not given accreditation as they said it was not important. This was a nightmare for us as we could not move about freely.

"It's high time maskandi artists are accorded the respect accorded to other genres.

"Thank God we are not the only ones unhappy about the cutting of our brand new song, Amadoda, from the newly dropped CD Mabhebeza.

"People complained that they they were about to listen to homegrown sounds, when they were rudely cut off."


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