Controversial Kwaito star almost broke

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Angry, insolent and controversial kwaito star and recovering drug addict Kabelo Mabalane's bank account is said to be running dry.

A source close to him toldSowetan that the workers of the 31-year-old artist, who is notorious for his arrogance, are worried that they might lose their bread and butter after Mabalane apparently told them that things were bad.

The source said many people were boycotting him because of his arrogance .

"There is a lot of pressure on his manager to get him gigs. People are not booking him anymore because of his nasty attitude," the informant said.

"And he has told his workers to pull up their socks or lose their bread. The manager is said to be secretly looking for other artists to manage."

At the height of his career Mabalanne was doing well. In 2001 his first album, Everybody Watching, sold about 80000 units.

His second solo release, Rebel with a Cause in 2002, sold 130000 units and earned him a Sama for Best Kwaito Album and Best Male Artist.

In 2004 he released his third album, The Beat Goes On, for which he received his second Sama for Best Kwaito Album as well as the Kora for Best Southern African Male. The album also went triple platinum.

Later that year he let loose his fourth offering on the local music scene - Bouga Luv. The hit single off the album Love me or leave me alone went platinum before the year ended.

In 2005 he co-founded the independent record label Groove Luv Records with local Kwaito producer D-Rex. Last year he took another direction and founded Faith Records, where he is also chief executive.

Under Faith Records he released I'm a King, which sold fewer than 10000 copies, a clear sign that his music career is floundering.

Asked for a comment an annoyed Mabalane refused to answer our questions and referred us to his manager.

"I don't want to talk to you. Call my manager," he said.

But his manager, Lolo Morapeli, refuted claims that Mabalane was going broke.

"He is okay. Kabelo is a rich man, will never go broke and still gets gigs."

Asked when he was last booked for a gig, Morapeli said sometime last week in Eastern Cape but could not say where and when before she hung up her phone.