Artists in war of words over money

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Popular Zulu drama series Family Bonds' lead actor Ndumiso Dlamini is involved in a bruising war of words with well-known soccer voice-over artist, Owen Ndlovu, over money.

Ndlovu is the voice behind several SABC television and radio programmes, including Soccer Zone.

Dlamini, who acted the role of Themba in the popular series (also nicknamed Sgedlemba) in the drama series based in a Durban township, says he feels embarrassed that Ndlovu offered to pay him peanuts for translation work that he has done for Ndlovu's company.

"Ndlovu 'hijacked' me at a coffee shop at the SABC at the beginning of this month while I was busy doing some translation work for Igagasi FM and asked me to do some translation job for him for the forthcoming Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

"I translated profiles of the participating golfers from English into fine, street Zulu for one-and-half-days, translating to eight pages. I had not entered into a contract with Owen because of the short notice and based on trust, because of previous dealings that went smoothly.

"This time, when I asked him how much he was going to pay me for the job, he insulted me by saying R500. I know as an experienced artist in the industry how much I am worth, and what he offered was not on," said Dlamini.

He added that Ndlovu has in the process threatened him with violence, saying that "he was born in Soweto and he knew guns. The truth of the matter is I am from Durban and also know guns."

Dlamini was eventually paid R1500 for the work on Thursday. But not before there was a harsh exchange of unsavoury SMSses between the two artists. Sowetan is in possession of the SMSes.

After paying Dlamini on Thursday, Ndlovu sent him the following SMS: "Welcome to the world of millionaires. Now buy yourself a Merc ML320, a BMW 320i, a Caravelle and a Nissan Navara, change your dress code, look neat and own a mansion, just like me. I own all that.

"I don't take from the poor. I feed the poor. Uyazihluphekela mfowethu. (You are suffering my brother)."

Dlamini confirmed that the two had exchanged nasty emails following the money dispute.

"I felt insulted by Owen when he offered me R500. I felt I had to stand up and challenge this exploitation of artists.

However, Ndlovu yesterday denied he threatened Ndlovu.