News Cafe to investigate allegations 'packed' Nomcebo Zikode gig broke Covid-19 rules

'Jerusalema' hitmaker's show comes under fire

Kyle Zeeman Senior entertainment reporter
Nomcebo recently performed in a packed venue in Limpopo.
Nomcebo recently performed in a packed venue in Limpopo.
Image: Nomcebo's Twitter

Jerusalema hitmaker Nomcebo Zikode's recent show at a News Cafe in Limpopo has sparked controversy and an investigation by the company after claims it broke Covid-19 lockdown rules and put lives at risk.

In a video recently posted by Nomcebo on Twitter, the star could be seen performing in the crowded venue.

At one point Nomcebo could be seen leading a sing along, encouraging audience members to sing into her microphone. She was flanked by dancers who pressed up against her while she was performing.

The crowd of excited fans could be seen huddled together with no social distancing and no wearing of masks. 

“Thanks a lot Thavhani Mall News Cafe, Thohoyandou, Venda,” she wrote in the caption.

Nomcebo later deleted the video, but it was uploaded onto YouTube by a fan.

When approached for comment, Nomcebo's team said it was the venue's responsibility to ensure adequate health and safety protocols were kept.

“If we are called for a performance, whenever, wherever, it is the owner or management of the venue who are supposed to ensure requirements for Covid-19. As a performer, Nomcebo does not have the power to do all those things. Where were the police if the venue was overcrowded? I don't like that people are saying she participated in it. She is a performer,” Bongani Dube said.

He could not comment on whether Nomcebo raised objections when she saw the size of the crowd.

“It was at night. We did one song. We did our show and we left. We did not stay there,” he said.

Several attempts by SowetanLIVE's sister publication TshisaLIVE to get comment from the management of the venue were unsuccessful at the time of publishing this article, but News Cafe brand manager Varina Singh said the company had launched an investigation into the matter.

“We have been made aware of the concerns regarding an event hosted at News Cafe Thohoyandou over the weekend, and as the franchisor we have launched an investigation.

“As a brand we take non-compliance very seriously, especially since we have taken the necessary steps to minimise Covid-19 risks and exposure at all our stores with strict adherence. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the required action will be taken”.


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