Assault charge almost ruined my career - muso

'Idols SA' runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba with his lawyer James Ndebele at the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court, where his assault charge was withdrawn. /Kabelo Mokoena
'Idols SA' runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba with his lawyer James Ndebele at the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court, where his assault charge was withdrawn. /Kabelo Mokoena

Mthokozisi Ndaba has revealed that after being accused of assaulting a woman in a Hillbrow flat last year, he lost out on several high-profile deals, including a recording contract with Gallo Records.

The assault charge against him was provisionally withdrawn by the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court in December last year pending further investigations, but Mthokozisi said he went to ground after the incident because the accusations nearly ruined his career.

There have been no new developments in the case.

"I didn't run away. The thing is, most of the gigs are in Johannesburg and when we knocked we got no reply. A lot of sponsors dropped me. Many of them pulled out because of the incident. I was down, I was feeling low, so I decided to go back to KZN and regain my strength."

One of the deals that also quickly turned sour was his recording deal with Gallo.

The Idols SA runner-up worked with the company on his first single immediately after the competition, but an insider said that they had become frustrated with the star because he was not co-operating and would avoid calls and engagements.

"He was not co-operating. He would avoid phone calls and could not be found when he was needed. He was not interested in doing what he was asked to. It seems like he wanted to do his own things. The label wanted to work with him badly but it was not working out and he is no longer with them," the insider said.

Mthokozisi rubbished the allegations, claiming the record company didn't support him during the ordeal and would not speak to his representatives after he left his former management.

"After Idols we were supposed to sign a contract with them but they didn't contact me. During the allegations, I spoke for myself with the help from KZN government.

"They never even phoned me to find out if it was true or not. They have not even checked up on me. It is not true that I am unapproachable. They just did not want to go through my publicist. I resigned from my former manager during the allegations. I lost 21 gigs because people were saying they could not get hold of her. All the gigs I get by myself now."

Mthokozisi said he is now releasing music as an independent artist and would soon release a tell-all book about his life, accompanied by a 10- track album.

Gallo Records responded to the claims, saying they "tried to contact Mthokozisi several times to discuss where the relationship stands after the public accusations", but had not been able to reach him. They also wanted to know more about his plans for his upcoming album.

"We wanted to discuss his contract and the terms thereof as he was also advertising on social media regarding releasing a book and a free CD of material without the knowledge of his record label.

"We have neither been introduced nor has Gallo been made aware of any new PR manager as it would have been great to officially meet to discuss the way forward after the successful release of his first single.

"By virtue of releasing a single with the record label, and as per his contract, Mthokozisi is still under contract to Gallo Record Company, until if or when such time as he is officially released from his contract and recording obligations or doesn't fulfil certain release commitments, options or extension periods. It's all covered in his recording contract.

"Gallo is open and available to have these discussions with the artist and decide what is the best way forward for both parties."

Meanwhile, Mthokozisi has landed a gig as a radio presenter on Vibe FM in KZN and is hoping to score a TV audition pretty soon. "I have a master plan. Besides radio, I have gone back to the church choir and have been recording music in my home studio.

"I have a book coming in the middle of the year. The book will blow people's minds because it will tell only the truth.

"I want people to see that I am a human being. I've been through so much in my life and I want them to accept who I am, a fighter."

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